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-   -   Calling All High School Teachers with ADHD (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=48787)

Makva 02-08-08 11:59 AM

Calling All High School Teachers with ADHD
 
I would like to start a discussion for high school teachers who are diagnosed with adhd. No offense to the elementary teachers but we just have very different experiences throughout our day.

I'm wondering if we can share our frustrations as well as our coping strategies.

While we all know this job is tough, I think in some ways it is a good fit for us because of the variety. My problem is that certain elements of the job cause me so much stress (due, in part I think, to my adhd) that I'm not sure it is worth it.

So, anyone out there interested?

(I teach 10th grade honors World History and 11th grade American History in MN.)

zoomman 02-10-08 10:47 PM

Re: Calling All High School Teachers with ADHD
 
Makva,

One of the things I've found that greatly reduces stress in planning/management is to employ as much layered curriculum elements as I can get away with...though I only got to play a little with this technique in my student teaching, by giving the kids more choice in their curriculum, and thus more power, they responded more enthusiastically and more diligently. It's an interesting idea, I think.

aloha1983 02-14-08 04:51 AM

Re: Calling All High School Teachers with ADHD
 
Hey! I'm did learning support for my postgrad Dip Ed. Loved the smaller class sizes!

I tutor now and love the one on one sessions.

zoomman 02-14-08 11:58 AM

Re: Calling All High School Teachers with ADHD
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by aloha1983 (Post 546495)
Hey! I'm did learning support for my postgrad Dip Ed. Loved the smaller class sizes!

I tutor now and love the one on one sessions.

I have to say that one-on-one would be my ideal. I tended to be very individualistic in my classroom management style, too.

aloha1983 02-14-08 11:59 PM

Re: Calling All High School Teachers with ADHD
 
Yeah. Even when I did learning support and there were challenging kids and behaviour management, I found it so much easier than a class of thirty.

zoomman 02-15-08 10:28 AM

Re: Calling All High School Teachers with ADHD
 
Aloha, assuming that the differences between the Australian curriculum and what we have here in the states are merely superficial, what is (was) it like for you to do lesson plans? Do you (did you) have to write out formal plans as a part of your training?.

How 'bout you, Makva? How complete are your lesson plans?

Both of you, how does your ADHD affect your classroom management style?

aloha1983 02-17-08 02:29 AM

Re: Calling All High School Teachers with ADHD
 
Yes! for the mainstream classes we did. I believe for the first year or two you are still meant to have your plans done two weeks in advance, and they check every now and then.

It was useful but I hated the planning part the most. I wish someone could just plan the curriculum/planning for you and then you just come up with a cool way to present it to the class and get them to connect with it. Of course once you do it for a while you can almost do it without the plan. But still I found in the classes students NEED structure. They like to know exactly what they are doing and where they are going, how they are going to get there next.

I love tutoring because you never need to plan and you don't know what you will be given re: assignments/homework. That said though, we have a bunch of books/exercises (spelling, punctuation, writing exercises etc) to fall back on if they don't bring anything in.

But yeah, I love the teaching part SO much more than the planning part.

aloha1983 02-17-08 02:38 AM

Re: Calling All High School Teachers with ADHD
 
In terms of classroom management style, I found it hard when I was in a class of 30, due to the way my brain processes sound. Instead of filtering things out I hear everything at once. It was handy for going, "Sam up the back, stop talking about Myspace!" but also frustrating as I'd be talking, writing on the board, thinking what was coming next and scanning and behaviour managing all at the same time.

I tried sooooooo hard my first prac, and got top marks, but was just exhausted. In comparison Learning Support (up to 14) and tutoring is a breeze. I guess too in learning support you know a kid is acting up because they have an actual problem, whereas in mainstream they're often acting up just because they want to be little punks and show off in front of their friends! :)

Makva 02-25-08 08:46 PM

Re: Calling All High School Teachers with ADHD
 
At my high school we don't have to submit plans. That would be the end of me. I have a lesson planner sheet that I use. Basically just a table five boxes for each of my three different classes, one for each week of the term.

I usually have objectives more clearly written out and communicated to the kids at the beginning of my trimesters. But by the fourth week or so, all is lost and it is all I can do just to keep up.

I am TERRIBLE at classroom mgmt. Basically I don't have a style. Sounds weird or maybe even unprofessional? I really never have problems with kids being defiant. I do, of course, have problems with kids talking with each other, not paying attention, not giving me their attention when I try to start class, etc.

My real problem is that it has thus far been impossible for me to stay consistent with a policy throughout the trimester. This is something that should be solved because it is getting worse as the years go by and I get older. However, I don't see a solution for myself except to keep trying each term.

The other issue is that I have up to 35 kids in my room at once. Being as scattered as I already am, it is also impossible for me to monitor all of them at once, as aloha mentioned.

P.S. Sorry for being MIA in the thread that I started. As per usual, I am already getting bored with the forum before I actually make good use of it. Lately the thought of sitting down to type all this out was too much! I'm coming out of my winter funk so hopefully I will be more consistent. HA!

lperreca 10-19-09 08:32 PM

Re: Calling All High School Teachers with ADHD
 
WOW! I am SO glad I found this threat - I teach 9th 10th and 12th grade English in a high achieving district in Connecticut.

Zoomman - I totally agree! Individual instruction is amazing... I wish I could work with smaller groups (I work with groups of 25)

Makav - I really struggle with consistently enforcing classroom policy as well. It's not as if I don't have an awareness of the policies but I literally forget the exist. Do you ever worry that it will undermine the structure of your class?

I can't tell you how happy this thread makes me... I've felt pretty isolated lately. The district I work in is so incredibly efficient and high achieving that it's easy to feel like a failure if I get distracted and forget to submit daily attendance.

By the way, I'm Lauren :D

rd_wnc 10-19-09 09:10 PM

Re: Calling All High School Teachers with ADHD
 
It was really the classroom management that drove me out of public schools. I didn't have problems with discipline really but it was so stressful to go to work knowing that I was going to have to be a horse's *** to someone about something (usually something dumb) every day. However the single biggest discipline mistake is to not be consistent or to be wishy washy about something. They are like sharks smelling blood when they sense you are waffling about discipline. Eventually I had almost no problems because I forced myself to drop the hammer even when I didn't feel at all like it.

That said if I could have learned to have more fun with the job I would have probably stayed. What I do now is more stressful and more work but I have more fun.

The ADD didn't bother me much except for remembering to post attendance and in keeping up with all the little forms and records (I still fight that one). I just wasn't thick skinned enough to let the frustrations roll off. I think ADD people can be like velcro....some things just stick.

FiguringItOut09 11-12-09 07:23 PM

Re: Calling All High School Teachers with ADHD
 
Woah!!

SO glad I found this thread!
I am a high school Special Ed teacher who was just diagnosed with ADHD (today!) after making connections between my students' behaviors and my own...

That said, I am wondering how open I can/should be with my students. I know that it may be helpful on a relational level to connect through the shared experience, but I also don't want to potentially put myself in a awkward situation. I would never tell a student anything I don't want the whole world to know (obviously, since they're TEENAGERS!!!), but I'm wondering what people's thoughts are on this.

Thanks!! :)

jumpinbean 01-03-10 07:38 PM

Re: Calling All High School Teachers with ADHD
 
I STRUGGLE everyday in the classroom! What's crazy is . . .I left this job a few years ago and just recently came back. I realize what a mistake that was because I'm so disorganized and totally frustrated every day. But, I LOVE tutoring--working one on one or in very small groups. It's strange: helping students is great . . . planning is my albatross! Is there a way to cope?

artsyfart 01-03-10 09:28 PM

Re: Calling All High School Teachers with ADHD
 
This is what I've been looking for - I've felt like a defective teacher for so long!
I teach art, which I love, but it is possibly the worst class for me to have. Most kids take art because they think it's easy and they can fool around. I can relate to so much of what others here have said!

Noise - drive me crazy! I have to try hard to calm down.

Distractibility - I literally walk in circles trying to remember what I'm doing.

Discipline - I am no good at it!

I love working with small groups, but that is not possible in large classes!

I look forward to talking to all of you!

radicalartist 02-22-10 08:09 AM

Re: Calling All High School Teachers with ADHD
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by artsyfart (Post 826220)
This is what I've been looking for - I've felt like a defective teacher for so long!
I teach art, which I love, but it is possibly the worst class for me to have. Most kids take art because they think it's easy and they can fool around. I can relate to so much of what others here have said!

Noise - drive me crazy! I have to try hard to calm down.

Distractibility - I literally walk in circles trying to remember what I'm doing.

Discipline - I am no good at it!

I love working with small groups, but that is not possible in large classes!

I look forward to talking to all of you!


Awesome,

"Every good teacher is a student.
Every good student is a teacher."

Awesome to know some of you are teaching :)

be awesome to have you as a teacher.. hmm...

wow what an awesome experience.

Some teachers are bland..

ADHD teachers aren't bland are they?

I like vibrant, new, and adventures..

Apparently.. "Boys" have bad attention span anyway..
So don't stay inside the classroom all day :D


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