Ability to think outside the box.
These are just a few of the many positive traits people with ADHD can have.
Unfortunately, as teachers, we tend to fixate on the behavioral problems students with ADHD may exhibit. Have you had students who regularly struggle to pay attention? Sit still? Or control impulsive behavior? These tendencies don’t generally lead to success in the classroom. In our MAIN video, Jessica McCabe remarks that the ADHD brain is like a race car with a powerful engine . . . and bicycle brakes. Although the race car is very fast, it skids out of control when zooming round bends. What’s needed is a brake specialist who can help the driver make the brakes stronger and control the engine.
As educators, we can take on the role of one type of brake specialist for our learners with ADHD: the classroom brake specialist. Read on to discover what goes on in the ADHD brain and how teachers can support these learners. And as you use this knowledge to help your students with ADHD strengthen their brakes, remember to keep the students’ strengths—energy, generosity, curiosity, creativity—front and center.
Heather Kretschmer teaches Business English at the University of Göttingen, Germany.