Managing 30-40 children for 6-8 hours each day is challenging for any teacher. Having ADHD has many benefits, however, not knowing how to manage certain behaviours exhibited by children can be frustrating.
There are a few simple things you can do:
1. Behavioural techniques and classroom management strategies for managing children with ADHD
a) Consistency is the key to helping ADHD children
Children with ADHD do not deal with change very well, even if it is positive change. They need to have a sense of external structure, as they tend to lack a sense of internal structure.
b) ADHD have two kinds of time…plenty and none
They are usually poor at organising their time and need you to help them break tasks down into small components.
c) Place children ADHD at the front of the room
Do not let them sit at the back of the class!! Seat them nearest the blackboard or close to where the teacher gives instruction.
d) Try to avoid placing children with ADHD at tables with multiple children
This only maximises their distractibility.
e) Use colours and shapes to help them organise
f) Try to provide a quiet study area when seat work is required
g) Try to work within the child’s attention span
Change the type of work frequently and the child can continue to work productively.
h) Many of these children are VISUAL learners
Try making things more visual or tactile and they may grasp them better. Instead of memorizing words, ask them to “make a movie in their head and play it back”.
i) Don’t worry if you feel frustrated…
Don’t take their behaviour personally and do not vent your frustration on them.
j) Encourage creativity
These children are often extremely creative. Try to encourage artistic (or musical) abilities. But to avoid chaos, keep any creative sessions structured.
2. Maintain a close relationship with the parents/guardian
Successful management of ADHD is a team effort. If you have any ADHD children in your classroom, you are automatically part of the treatment process. Therefore you have to maintain a close “working” relationship with the other members of the team. (namely the parents)
This can be achieved simply by:
- weekly updates on behaviour/work in class (either written or phone)
- keeping an eye out in the playground for the child, are they making and maintaining friendships?
- alerting the parents immediately if you notice any changes in behaviour
3. Educate yourself
Make yourself aware of such things as:
a) what ADHD is
b) what treatments are available
c) what your role is in the ADHD diagnostic process
d) what support and services are available in NZ, and
e) what your legal responsibilities are.