If you have ever been in the Florida area for a period of time, you know that power of those short storms that go through the area. One minute, it’s beautiful and the next minute, torrential rain, thunder, lightning and fear. This is exactly what happened this morning while vacationing in southwest Florida and I watched my flagpole with the American flag (and of course, my Buckeye flag) bend and bend and BEND!
It took only about 15 minutes for the storm to pass but a lot can happen within those short moments. Damage can be quick accompanied by injuries and emotional setbacks. (I never know what might inspire me to write a blog and yep, it took this storm to do so).
How many storms do your children struggle through each and every day and how many times in the day does that storm of high winds and strong waves engulf them without leaving a little bit of damage? How does one bend and not break and rejoice once the sun shines through?
For any individual struggling with ADHD, these storms can be strong and frequent. So, as educators, how can we help our children through these high winds and strong waves?
The other day I began a boat ride with sun in the sky, low wind and hopes of enjoying a great day with friends. Before too long, as it happens here in Florida, the winds began to pick up and as we boated closer to the open gulf, those high winds and strong waves came at us!
Out on the water, the choices are minimal, but in our classrooms educators have many choices to make. Teachers can help children with ADHD become successful in school, said Beth Kaplanek, volunteer president of the board of directors for Children and Adults With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD). “Teachers can make all the difference with how a child feels about [himself or herself],” she said.
Here are some of the choices you may have used or may consider as your students are hit by high winds and strong waves:
- Display classroom rules. Students need to see visually what is expected and then use these criteria with little to no emotion when correction is needed.
- Break directions AND teaching into small parts. It is proven research that the brain for children can only contain working memory for short periods of time. Students must see a reason to learn and it must be interesting. Lectures DON’T WORK!
- Post a daily schedule and homework assignments with due dates same place daily.
- For students who struggle with transition (Asperger) a copy of times, schedule may be needed and can be taped on the child’s desk.
- Provide regular and frequent breaks. If the children need to stand up or move around, let them! (remember those boring meetings YOU don’t want to sit in?)
- Where can your students go to “calm down?” Find a quiet spot in the classroom (such as a place in the back of the room) where students can go to do their work or for a needed brain break.
- Use the support that surrounds the student! Make them leaders and provide them with responsibility.
- Reinforce specific behaviors by offering more positive reinforcements than negative consequences.
Enjoy your students and enhance their strengths! So much of education is focusing on the weaknesses of your students. Find out what ALL your children excel in and provide time and activities for each of them to showcase what they do well and have confidence in!
Each child, especially your ADD/ADHD students will be hit with high winds and strong waves. How your handle these students before, during and after will help to keep the calm in their life and provide them with a nurturing environment for success.
Judy is founder/coach of ADHD CoachConnect and has over 3 years of working with teens 12 and up all over the country to find acceptance and success in and out of the classroom. She can be contacted via www.adhdcoachconnect.com or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AdhdCoachconnect/