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  #16  
Old 02-23-10, 04:38 PM
JaneB66 JaneB66 is offline
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Re: Calling All High School Teachers with ADHD

Very interesting to follow this, I have been teaching 16 - 18 year olds but currently not working as we have just moved house. I was determined to do something else as I enjoy the teaching but find all the planning and marking so time consuming and stressful it just doesn't seem worth it - just too much paper. Is teaching a no go for people with ADD or are there ways around the difficulties?
The planning at my college became more and more laborious, I find one of my strengths is thinking of something original to do with the students but it is usually quite last minute, sometimes an idea comes to me in the middle of the lesson.
Interestingly - I was teaching computer graphics - the students who really excelled at this subject were defiantly on the ADD spectrum - I can spot them, they had amazing imaginations and were able to pick up the computer software in no time, students who did fantastically in my lessons were giving other teachers a hard time. They often had trouble with the written work but I could help them break tasks down, or I might assess them in a more practical way. I would definitely never tell a student that I have ADD, I think it is very important never to step over the professional/personal line with students.
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  #17  
Old 02-24-10, 03:55 AM
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Re: Calling All High School Teachers with ADHD

Wow. I don't know how you do it!!


May I please recommend tutoring as an alternative career.
You set your own hours and schedule if you work privately.
And if you work with an agency, you don't have to worry about advertising and stuff.

But you get paid a LOT more money.
Enough to compensate for not having government benefits.

And you get to be free of a horrible system that isn't based on learning, it's based on controlling.


You know, if homeschool continues to grow and some of these private tutoring places get the right idea and offer actual classes instead of "tutoring",
hopefully there will be many different jobs opening up for credentialed teachers!
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  #18  
Old 02-26-10, 06:49 PM
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Re: Calling All High School Teachers with ADHD

I'm student teaching at the moment and it's 8th grade, but next semester I'll be at the high school level. I'm having major problems getting distracted by my students!

Also, I find that I have a hard time disciplining certain actions because I was disciplined so much as a kid (when I had so little control over what I was doing!) and it's made me not want to do the same to the kids I work with. Does anyone else have this issue?

Other than that, I've been keeping myself insanely organized with folders, file, manila envelopes, and binders. I've taught myself to be super organized after years of losing things. Structure, structure, structure. Now if only my CT and my college teachers could use more structure....
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  #19  
Old 02-28-10, 09:43 PM
westsida westsida is offline
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Re: Calling All High School Teachers with ADHD

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Originally Posted by furthuron View Post
I'm student teaching at the moment and it's 8th grade, but next semester I'll be at the high school level. I'm having major problems getting distracted by my students!

Also, I find that I have a hard time disciplining certain actions because I was disciplined so much as a kid (when I had so little control over what I was doing!) and it's made me not want to do the same to the kids I work with. Does anyone else have this issue?

Other than that, I've been keeping myself insanely organized with folders, file, manila envelopes, and binders. I've taught myself to be super organized after years of losing things. Structure, structure, structure. Now if only my CT and my college teachers could use more structure....
I teach at the elementary level but I know what you mean. I was always getting yelled at. Teachers would be literally in my face screaming. It wasn't pleasant, and I never meant to be irritating, I was just incredibly impulsive. So when I have kids with AD/HD or ADD I try and give them a lot of patience, but it's hard! But I never scream or yell... whew that was not fun as a kid!
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  #20  
Old 03-03-10, 12:41 AM
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Re: Calling All High School Teachers with ADHD

I'm not quite sure if I fit in here or not. I taught high school for 3 years before they decided to close the school at the end of the 3rd year to save money from budget cuts. Right before I was supposed to get tenure, they instead said to find another job.

The union told me that they couldn't help me because I didn't have tenure. So for 3 years I paid $67 a month in union dues, then when they go to fire me, there's nothing you can do? GIVE ME BACK MY 3 YEARS OF UNION DUES!

Anyway, I got a job at a college teaching.

Anyone else teach college?
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  #21  
Old 04-09-10, 10:37 PM
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Talking Re: Calling All High School Teachers with ADHD

I am so happy I found this. I have been searching for some community to talk with about this. I am not technically a high school teacher but I teach 8th grade science in the Bronx. Its close enough.

I also struggle with keeping the structure and routines through out the year. But I come up with some great ones! Typical ADDer, creative but not consistent.

I find that I try to make it as simple as possible. I put a lot of the responsibility on students too. I think next year I will have a student who very organized and consistent be my reminder... tell me when I am forgetting to follow one of our routines.

Also I let my students know I have ADHD. It has been only positive. They had a lot of questions and misconceptions. It also gave some of the students with ADD more confidence and someone to talk to.

Does anyone else talk with their students about ADD?
How do you guys keep your routines through out the year?
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  #22  
Old 04-09-10, 10:40 PM
kasch51 kasch51 is offline
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Re: Calling All High School Teachers with ADHD

I also think that the some of the students can't help it. I think that I am a little to understanding at times. Still have to figure out how I will work with that. HOwever, in the long run I see empathy as a positive and I try to lead with respect instead of rule with rules. Harder said than done but it can work.
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  #23  
Old 04-14-10, 08:21 PM
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Re: Calling All High School Teachers with ADHD

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Originally Posted by artsyfart View Post

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

Noise drives me crazy too. I am from the suburbs and I teach in the Bronx. My kids talk at a much louder volume than I am use to. I have been wondering if it is a cultural or ADHD thing for a while. Is anyone else disturbed by noise?

Its also funny/ironic/karma because I when I was a student I would always be the one talking!
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  #24  
Old 04-14-10, 08:25 PM
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Re: Calling All High School Teachers with ADHD

Does anyone tell their students about their ADHD? I do. I tell them my weaknesses and how I overcome them. Then I get student "workers" to be the ones to help me. I have to make sure they are consistent and orderly first. I try to drive home that nothing has to hold you back and that communities can create great environments.

For example, my students have to do community service at the school so I have some be my paper organizers. They check off and separate work. I grade but they deal with the clutter that I create afterward.

Does anyone else do something similar? I want to think of more ways I can give my students more responsibility to offset my own weakness. I would love more ideas about any strategies..
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  #25  
Old 05-05-10, 01:58 PM
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Re: Calling All High School Teachers with ADHD

That's a great idea. The noise thing comes with auditory processing difficulties, your ears hear all the noise but your brain can't seperate/filter them in terms of the closest/most urgent noise.

I did contracts for 2 years but then was transferred to a school of 2,200 kids. Most of them have challenging needs. Plus there are 130+ staff and they do heaps of PD and meetings.

I am not coping with the sound processing. My specialist has approved leave for me and luckily after receiving the medical certificates those in admin and district seem to understand it more. We are looking at options to make it work... has anyone been in a similar situation? Please write to me...
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  #26  
Old 05-10-10, 07:26 PM
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Re: Calling All High School Teachers with ADHD

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Originally Posted by kasch51 View Post
Also I let my students know I have ADHD. It has been only positive. They had a lot of questions and misconceptions. It also gave some of the students with ADD more confidence and someone to talk to.

Does anyone else talk with their students about ADD?
I think its great that you let the students know. My son's Algebra teacher told him that she had ADHD as well. I think that was helpful to him. I know it made me feel a lot better because I knew she would be more understanding of my son's ADHD. The high school had a policy that if you were even 1 minute late to class, you had detention for the entire class period and had to sit in the cafeteria. My son had an extremely hard time getting up in the morning and making it to class right on time. Although he was rarely more than a couple of minutes late most teachers had zero tolerance. She never gave him detention for that.
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  #27  
Old 06-07-10, 02:51 AM
pdxben pdxben is offline
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Re: Calling All High School Teachers with ADHD

I was recently diagnosed with ADHD, inattentive, and I teach high school English. I don't tell my students about my condition, I don't think they need to know, but they are well aware of my organizational issues--delays in getting essays back, piles of papers all over the room, zoning out when they ask me questions and constantly asking them to repeat themselves. In the classroom, I feel I am pretty effective, and management isn't a problem for me, but I can't get myself organized to save my life. I am constantly forgetting to take attendance. I'm quite certain I hold the record each year for least reported attendance records. And planning is a problem as well, I often throw something together in my head in the shower the day of class, though I always have an idea in mind for the overall direction of a unit. Still, it's not the most effective way to plan.

That said, I am starting meds for the first time this summer and I'm going to attend some ADD groups meetings that are focused on organizing. So hopefully those two things, as well as learning what triggers my habits and how to snap myself out of them will help.

My one question to fellow teachers, though, is this: did you tell your principal, vice principal, supervisor, etc. about your ADD? Now that I realize why I have these issues, I'm tempted to just let my boss know, so she understands why I don't get the attendance in, or fill out the ELD forms, or reply her emails. And I want her to know that I'm seeking help and I'm working on it. I don't know... what do you think?
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  #28  
Old 07-03-10, 10:21 PM
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Re: Calling All High School Teachers with ADHD

I started out teaching History at the high school level and struggled. I had a lot of problems with organizing how I wanted to do grades, systems for doing things and how to organize myself. I kept flip flopping on what I wanted to do in that regard. I had a great deal of difficulty making a good lesson plan and sticking to it. Managing time during the period was always a struggle. I would sense that I was screwing it all up and I would get real flustered.

Went for my master's in special ed. and have been teaching that ever since. I am mainly in a resource room and it fits my strengths perfectly. I get assigned most of the kids the other special ed teachers don't want to deal with... the ADHD boys, haha. I love it though. I always feel like I understand them and can relate. I do really well with this but occasionally get myself into hot water for not reading important emails, forgetting to do certain things until the last second, scrambling to get to meetings on time. IEP season is always a whirlwind of productivity to make up for major procrastination.

I'm newly diagnosed so I'm not sure about telling the Principal, VP, ect. They were both SPED teachers, so I know they'd understand. Not really sure if I want to share though. I do have tenure though, ha!
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  #29  
Old 08-02-10, 11:08 AM
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Re: Calling All High School Teachers with ADHD

Quote:
Originally Posted by aloha1983 View Post
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.
)
This is what I deal with as well. I teach at a great district with a fantastic staff and good kids. I like teaching because there is so much variety, and being an art teacher, I have a lot of freedom in the way I want to present lessons. However, I get classes of close to 30 kids, and I get so overwhelmed and tense sometimes that I feel like I'm shutting down, and not connecting to the kids as well as I want to. I have a hard time listening to individual kids because I am constantly distracted by other kids or already mentally on the next part of the lesson. I wish I could just relax but my mind is always running, running, running.
Even though my kids are generally good, 28 of ANY type of student is a lot of energy to sort through, and in my classroom, being that its art, the kids have a certain amount of freedom of movement and can talk with each other some, which complicates matters worse. My school has a pretty relaxed atmosphere so having a VERY strict behavior code won't have a ton of support, so I have to find other methods. I have found some things that work for me, but in some ways I am still overwhelmed.
Has anyone found ways of dealing with this particular issue?
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  #30  
Old 08-02-10, 11:38 AM
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Re: Calling All High School Teachers with ADHD

I have found some strategies that work for me as a teacher with ADHD--I hope some of these help and will encourage others to share some of their methods.

I have a few policies in place that deal directly with some of my weaknesses.

In the beginning of the year, I tell the kids: "If you want me to remember ANYTHING, I MUST write it down. So, it is your responsibility to check in with me, at my desk, and have me write a note about whatever it is you want me to remember." Post-its. Post-its. Post-its.

Classroom rules are kept fairly simple and are posted in one place in the classroom. The kids get a sheet with rules written on it in the beginning of the year--if they don't read it, its their problem.

Kids are required to sign a "late sign-in sheet" when they come in late, this way I don't forget to mark them late--the student and I BOTH have a record of it. I just have to be aware that a student is walking in and tell them to sign the sheet.

I am a very visual person, so POST-ITs are my savior.

Having a laptop and an iPhone that I keep with me at all times, with synched calendars. I put everything in these devices, and they have reminders which pop up on the screens with sound. This has helped tremendously. I just have to stay on top with getting everything into the calender right away rather than putting it off for later (that is a problem for me with ADHD).

Follow-through. If you have a rule, uphold it. Even if you love the student and its their first offense, they must be given the same punishment as the most misbehaved kid in the class. This is a place where I often struggle--but it is really important.

Pausing and taking a breath, then scanning the room regularly. Just to check in that everyone is doing what they should be doing. Pausing and breathing are often the first things we forget to do, but help me so so much.

ANyone have anything to add?
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