As a teacher, ADHD is never far away.  Some teachers in Further Education seem flummoxed and unhappy by the increase in enrolment to mainstream Level 3 (A level) courses of students with this often debilitating 'disorder'.

 

So why do learners with ADHD get themselves such a bad reputation, and what can we do about it?  In my experience, too little information is available to teachers in FE and HE about how to make reasonable adjustment for learners with ADHD. Traditionally, higher achieving learners have good study skills, attention to detail, a calm manner in class and willingness to participate.  The ever-increasing trend of learners without these typical Level 3 attributes are sending some teachers to argue, confront, punish and ultimately exclude them from their classrooms.

 

There are two simple strategies which can be easily put in place to make reasonable adjustment, without gadgets and gizmos, at your next lesson:

 

  • Increase the font size of handouts (to at least 14-point) and show learners how to use the zoom facility on PC screens – this will reduce the anxiety and irritation around being unable to comfortably read text.
  • Before a demonstration, video or 'teacher talk', explain the questions which students will need to answer.  This gives the learner a focus - he knows the information he will need to acquire during the demo/video/teacher talk and it increases the chance of his engagement.  (This also will explain “What’s in it for me?)    Geoff Petty explains this, and many other ideas, on his website

The other good news is that these two small changes will help every member of your class, not just those with ADHD.