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ADHD in the Classroom
Anthony T. Byrd
Mississippi College
ADHD in the Classroom
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ADHD in the Classroom
Romans 6:14​​ ​ESV
For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
ADHD​ is a chronic condition marked by persistent inattention, hyperactivity, and
sometimes impulsivity. ADHD is the most present learning disability in classrooms today and
the numbers are rising. Teachers are needed now more than ever to know about the importances
of being able to work with these students. Through research, I have realized that teachers need
more training on working with students with ADHD. This should begin before ever entering the
classroom and the teacher should have to show their knowledge of the methods of working with
students with ADHD. In the history field that I will be teaching, I will run into many issues in
working with students with ADHD. The subject of history is seen to many students as “boring”
due to the way many teachers approach to teaching it. Many teachers in the field of history tend
to just lecture and give test, and making a student with ADHD sit and take notes for an hour or
even longer is something that is nearly impossible. As a teacher, I will try to take the research I
have done on students with ADHD and their intervention methods. As I looked, I came to find in
a article that many teachers do not even know the proper methods of how to intervene with these
types of students in their classrooms. I found this study very alarming considering the rising in
amount of students with ADHD in every class. The four other articles I researched all talked
about the methods of teaching these specific students. They also talked about the different
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techniques to go about doing these methods. Not only did the articles talk about the students with
ADHD, but it they also compared the actions of these students to their peers and their differences
in actions and hyperactivity throughout the day. The article I feel will be most helpful to me is
the one that talked about the different methods and their effectiveness. As a teacher, I will need
to understand that there is not going to be one method that will work for every student. I will
need to be very cautious of not trying to use the same method on every student that I have with
ADHD. If I am able to properly gauge which methods to use for my students, whether it be a
reward/consequence system, an interest system, or an active style of system, then I will be able
to do as all teacher should and be giving all of my students the equal opportunity for success in
my classroom.
The first scholarly article I found that talked about ADHD in the classroom did not talk
about specific methods in the classroom but instead took polls of teachers and asked if they knew
the right methods. I found it very surprising that only 45% of the 200 teachers polled were able
to properly identify the symptoms and treatments for students with ADHD. Out of the remaining
teachers polled 22% identify the incorrect responses and 31% answered that they simply did not
know how to detect symptoms or the treatments for students with ADHD. I found these numbers
very worrying that less than 50% of the teachers polled would be able to help their students. This
is why I believe teachers should be given a test like this before they are able to have control of
their own classroom. By doing test like this you will not only help the teacher know the proper
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methods, but this will in turn help the students tremendously because they will have the help they
need to perform well in the class.
Teachers in the not just the field of history, but in every field tend to largely group
students with ADHD with all students with learning disabilities. But ADHD needs to be treated
as its own, because these students do not struggle with learning the materials as many teachers
believe and act. Studies have shown that a lot of teachers perceive their students with ADHD as
“not as smart” as their peers who do not have it, but this perception is false. Teachers need to
learn to accommodate their lesson to better suit the student with ADHD, not by giving them
lesser/easier material, but by working with them to figure out a way to help them perform well
in their class. Students with ADHD tend to drift away from subjects and materials that do not
interest them. This in turn causes them to perform worse than their peers. This is the reason
teacher believe they aren't as smart as the other students. However teachers should instead work
with the student to find a way to best help them learn the material. The teacher is responsible for
figuring out this method. Many students with ADHD tend to be able to learn and focus more if
they are up and either standing or moving around. Allowing students with ADHD to walk or
stand while being lectured or when working on work will help them be more engaged and
attentive throughout the lesson. By letting the students do this, they are able to zone on and not
drift away 2 minutes into the lecture as they very well may if the teacher expects them to sit and
note take just like their peers. Enabling them to stand helps get some of their energy out that they
otherwise would not be able too. Teachers will need to find a way to allow students to do this
ADHD in the Classroom
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without distracting other students. The teacher will need to lay down some rules for the student
to keep other students from getting distracted. A good way to help the student but avoid student
distraction is to place the student in the back of the room. Placing this student in the back will
enable them to stand up or move whenever they feel they need to without distracting the other
students in the process. This method has shown to be very helpful in working with students with
ADHD in the classroom and is something I plan on offering to my students with ADHD if they
fell it will help them better perform in my class.
Another article I read that i found very interesting as well talked about the different ways
for teachers to manage a classroom and help decrease off-task disruptive behavior in children
diagnosed with ADHD and it students that have exhibited symptoms of it. This
article(meta-analytical review) talks about the effectiveness of the several types of intervention
for these students in a classroom. It says that majority of teachers struggle because they simply
do not know the different intervention strategies. This article also talked about the different
moderators(classroom setting, type of measure,students age, gender,intelligence, and medication
use). Results from this showed that the best working intervention was consequence based
intervention and self-regulation intervention. The article also stated that the study showed that
the interventions also benefited classmates behavior and academic outcomes. I found it very
surprising that using these methods were the most successful in helping student behavior in the
classroom. By using the reward/consequence system the students are able to have something to
work towards in reaching their goal. This goal will then turn in to something that may interest
ADHD in the Classroom
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them because of their want for the reward that the teacher is giving. To be able to successfully
use this method, you will need to talk with and understand what the student wants in a reward.
By knowing what the student likes and interest them, you will be able to place certain rewards in
place that will help them reach the goal you have for them in the classroom.
During my experience in the class this semester, I was able to observe some of the
tendencies of students with ADHD. I observed Dr. Pickett’s 10th grade world history class at Mt.
Salus. Nobody in the class had been diagnosed with ADHD, so instead of observing one student
in the class I chose to observe all students and look for any of symptoms of ADHD. The two
major ones that stood out to me were fidgeting in seats and seeming to be zoned out at points
during class(but not very often). Fidgeting in seats was definitely the main one I saw in the class,
especially out of the boys. The students seemed to always be attentive in class. I believe Dr.
Pickett was able to do this by keeping all students engaged by have a discussion style class
instead of a lecture based one. None of the symptoms I noticed during my time at Mt. Salus
appeared to affect the instruction of the class.
Time of day also showed to have an impact on the actions of students. Students appear to
have much higher levels of hyperactivity during times such as coming back from lunch or
coming back from PE. Knowing the times that students are more hyperactive will allow teachers
to be prepared for these instances and have things in place to help keep instruction going without
ADHD in the Classroom
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disruption. By knowing that students with ADHD will be more hyperactive during certain times
of day, I will need to modify my lessons in order to help “bring them down” from their
hyperactivity. A good way to do this is not by lecturing the students during one of these times,
but instead have some form of activity or game in place to help them review material from the
day prior.
This research, i believe will be very critical and useful in the success of my classroom in
the future. With the knowledge I have gained through researching the methods of working with
students with ADHD will enable me to give the best learning environment possible for all
students that enter it. Some of the methods that I have realized that have been very useful in
classes and, will be able to use in my class are the reward/consequence system, allowing
movement, and giving my students the option, when I can, to choose fields that interest them.
The rewards and consequences system has proven to be one of the most used and successful
methods in helping limit the disruptive behavior in students with ADHD. By using this method I
will not only be able to limit disruption but also be able to help improve the success of students
with ADHD. By doing this, other students grades will rise research has shown. In my class, I will
use a lot of different projects to keep students actively learning throughout the year. A huge part
in keeping the attention in students with ADHD is to keep them working and having material that
interest them. I will give students projects but not on specific things. I will allow them to choose
anything as long at it is pertaining to the main idea of the section(Ex:Rome/ gladiators, games,
navy...etc.). By allowing students to choose topics that interest them, it will give them more
ADHD in the Classroom
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excitement towards the subject, and they not only will enjoy doing the work but will also learn
much more in the process. Being able to apply these methods properly will be very crucial to my
success as a teacher. Another method i discussed that will help my students, especially at the
high school level is allowing them to move around or stand while working. I have realized in my
time in high school that some students stood in the back of the class or even walked in the back
while they worked on their work, and this helped their performance as well as limited their
disruptions throughout the year. Being able to work with my students to figure out what methods
will best work for them will not only help them but also help me in not breaking the Mississippi
Code of Ethics, and giving all students equal opportunity and getting them to their best they can
be.
The Mississippi Code of Ethics standard 4.1.b says teachers should nurture the
intellectual, physical, emotional, social and civic potential of all students. This mean that
teachers will need to get the best out of all of their students no matter the circumstance. Working
with students with ADHD can sometimes be very stressful for teachers with improper training.
Improper training could lead to these students falling behind in class and not be given the fair
chance they deserve to excel in the class along with their peers. Students with ADHD will not be
given a fair chance if the teacher is improperly trained, which I believe leads to a break in this
standard.
Romans 6:14 says “​For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law
but under grace.” This is a great verse to use with your students struggling with managing their
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ADHD. You should help the students work on learning that if they give over their problems to
God and not try to handle these issues alone that they not only will feel a huge weight lifted off
of them, but will be able to accomplish their goal of owning their ADHD. Being able to help
students work through this verse and others, they will be able to learn to better control their
ADHD and in turn start performing much better in the classroom.
Through doing this research my eyes were opened to the importance of knowing and
understanding how to manage a class with students with ADHD. In today's classes almost every
class will have at least one student with ADHD, and in order to be successful, I will have to be
able to know and understand how to implement these strategies into my class. This research
will be very helpful for me to use in my future social studies classroom.
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References
DuPaul, G. J., Weyandt, L. L., & Janusis, G. M. (2011). ADHD in the Classroom:
Effective Intervention Strategies. ​Theory Into Practice​, ​50​(1), 35-42.
doi:10.1080/00405841.2011.534935
Gaastra, G. F., Groen, Y., Tucha, L., & Tucha, O. (2016). The Effects of Classroom
Interventions on Off-Task and Disruptive Classroom Behavior in Children with Symptoms of
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Meta-Analytic Review. ​PLoS ONE​, ​11​(2),
1–19.​https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0148841
Berly Topkin and Nicolette Vanessa Roman. “Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD):
Primary School Teachers' Knowledge of Symptoms, Treatment and Managing Classroom
Behaviour.”​African Journal of Biotechnology​, Academic Journals (Kenya),
www.ajol.info/index.php/saje/article/view/117999/121064​.
Antrop, I., Roeyers, H., & De Baecke, L. (2005). Effects of Time of Day on Classroom
Behaviour in Children with ADHD. ​School Psychology International​, ​26​(1), 29–43. Retrieved
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