A good teacher only teaches the class, while a great teacher is the one who learns and teaches, explaining all over again until his/her purpose has been served. Unlocking ADHD writer Lukas Tham shares his thoughts on how teachers are better able to support students who have ADHD.
ADHD students derive a sense of satisfaction from succeeding in school. How can teachers help unlock the potential of their students who have ADHD?
Public school teachers in Singapore are required to be trained under the National Institute of Education (NIE). This training equips teachers with tools to manage students, provide top-notch education to them and handle other administrative work. However, teachers are generally not trained to manage students with mental health conditions, including those with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Ways to Teach ADHD Students More Effectively
What are some of the methods that teachers can use to ensure that their efforts to teach ADHD students are productive? Here are some suggestions below:
Structured Academic Lessons
Teachers tend to conduct their classes in an unstructured manner. Some may feel that by providing an environment that allows more freedom, it allows their students to thrive and enjoy their learning experience. However, this is not the case for students with ADHD.
Some of these teachers may devise their lesson plan differently for each day. For example, they may use the first half to teach the class and the second half for the students to do their assignment, and the next day a full session of teaching, and the following day, a full session for students to complete their assignment. Because of the inconsistency, students with ADHD might struggle to cope with that particular subject.
A fixed and consistent lesson structure would help students manage school better. Teachers could consider creating a lesson plan that is more predictable throughout the entire semester. Additionally, teachers can create and send an infographic of their lesson plan for the entire school year to their students to help them understand and prepare for the upcoming classes which would be helpful for them to be able to do well.
Paying More Attention to ADHDers
Students with ADHD tend to be more distracted easily and have poor concentration. Some teachers perceive these students as not being interested in their lessons and thus tend to neglect them which may cause them to fall behind in class and do badly. Teachers could give these students more attention by holding extra classes to attend to their learning needs or create a buddy system so that they can aid these students during and after class.
Reducing Focus on Students’ Bad Behaviour
Some students tend to misbehave in class more often. Students with ADHD, especially, tend to do so as they have impulse control issues or cannot focus in class.
Instead of reprimanding them, teachers could focus on the students’ positive attributes and try to understand why they are behaving poorly. To help these students improve their behaviour and do well in class, teachers could give them more attention by greeting them and getting to know them personally.
Additionally, teachers tend to not provide positive feedback to their students after returning their test paper to them. Instead, teachers focus on the students’ mistakes and point out areas for improvement. Teachers can turn their focus towards praising the students for their efforts, and areas that they did well instead of focusing on the mistakes.
With some of these suggestions, we hope that teachers can be equipped with such skills to help students with ADHD succeed and do well in school.
Leave a Reply