Meet Renaldo, the inspiring teacher protagonist of our promo video

Thomas Courtley, ex teacher and LessonUp education specialist

Thomas Courtley

Education Specialist

Renaldo shares his journey into teaching, highlighting his love for guiding students and fostering a passion for learning. He discusses how LessonUp enhances his connection with students, and reflects on the effects of being featured in our video on both himself and his students. For an idea of its impact, read a student's quote at the end of the article!


Hi Renaldo, how long have you been teaching? What subject/s? And what do you like the most about teaching?

I've had a long career in education. I began my traineeship 19 years ago, and that's when the idea of truly becoming a teacher dawned on me. I then continued my studies and was swiftly thrown into the deep end. Since that moment, I've been consistently in the classroom. I spent a considerable amount of time in one secondary school and later worked in 2 other schools, covering a range from vocational education to pre-university education. Each school has its unique dynamic, and I find that aspect very interesting. I started as a Geography Teacher, but now I also teach Technology and Digital Literacy.


While teaching, I thoroughly enjoy discussing my subjects. Teaching has a specific dynamic—something unexpected always occurs, and you might end up helping someone or delving into a completely unrelated topic. I am very much aware of how the relationship with your students is one of the most important aspects in a classroom. As a teacher, you play a crucial role in guiding students towards adulthood and in sharing knowledge with them. This, in essence, is what makes teaching exceptionally fulfilling and the perfect vocation for me!


When did you start teaching with LessonUp? Why?

I have a constant interest in the latest developments in the field of education. This involves various aspects, ranging from technology to teaching methods. I enjoy considering which teaching methods are most effective in a lesson. When I encounter something new, I'm eager to experiment with it. This was the case when LessonUp became available. I immediately started using it, initially to implement multiple choice questions, and later to create entire lessons. LessonUp proves to be a useful tool for classroom management, featuring tools like a timer and a spinner. This enables clear communication of task durations, and the spinner helps you randomly select a student to answer a question or carry out an assignment.

LessonUp represents the ideal combination of interaction and encouraging independent work. I typically don't use hotspots during my lesson; instead, I share my slides, allowing students to explore the hotspots.
Renaldo Lakerveld

How often do you teach with the support of LessonUp lessons? What does that mean in terms of student engagement?

I use LessonUp every week, though not for every lesson; however, all my students are aware that I like teaching with it. My students are used to starting my lessons with ‘a LessonUp’, and they know exactly how to log in and participate. Towards the lesson's conclusion, during feedback, we systematically go through all their assessments together. This approach enables me to pinpoint areas requiring more attention. My students appreciate knowing that I revisit the lesson, addressing concerns effectively if I notice someone struggling.


I believe students appreciate having their progress made visible. After they provide answers, we engage in discussions, a practice that extends to the exit ticket phase. Here, I regularly review students' responses, looking for questions or noteworthy points. This collective review allows students to assist each other if needed. I have noticed, however, that if you ask too many questions the class can get distracted as they wait for each other. I frequently use quiz questions, drag and drop questions, and interactive videos in class, and I distribute open questions & extended drag and drops for independent work.


How did you end up becoming the star of our promo video?

I work extensively with LessonUp, showcasing a lot of the platform's features. In fact, I've been a Certified Educator for a while now, serving as one of LessonUp's trainers. This role allows me to stay connected to the practical aspects and the challenges faced by teachers using the platform. I've always been extremely enthusiastic about teaching with LessonUp! I understand its workings, and my students are accustomed to learning with it. In my opinion, these are the reasons why my contacts at LessonUp asked me to appear with my class in the video. I was thrilled, but I didn't anticipate such a production!

Willem, one of my students, comes running to me one morning and says (very proud and overly excited!!), ‘Sir, have you seen how many "views" our video has after 5 days?’...

What was your students’ reaction to being filmed during a lesson? Are they still talking about it?

When I handed out the official notes to ask if they wanted to be on camera or not, everyone was in agreement. My students became more and more excited. The girls started saying, ‘we should really think about what we're going to wear!’ They were genuinely engaged with the idea, and the boys thought it was very ‘cool.’ They participated really well on the filming day, and still enjoy talking about it. When the video was uploaded to YouTube, I showed it to them. Some found it strange to see themselves on video—what's amusing is that they keep track of the number of ‘views’ on YouTube, and actively show it to friends and family. They are very proud of being in the video!