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Supporting ADHD Students In The Classroom – A Professional Guide For An Educator

Written by: Samantha Woods, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Samantha Woods

It is essential for us to create an inclusive and supportive learning environment that caters to the needs of all students.

ADHD students in the classroom.

ADHD is characterized by persistent patterns of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity that can impact a student's academic and social performance. It is crucial for all educators to recognize that ADHD is a neurobiological condition and not a result of laziness or lack of effort on the part of the student.

I invite you to consider a shift in mindset from ADHD being a challenge with attention to ADHD being an executive functioning skills deficit.

How can an educator support students with ADHD:

Differentiated Instruction:

  • Plan with the ADHD student in mind and all will benefit.

Clear Communication:

  • Clearly articulate expectations and instructions. Less is more.

  • Use visual aids, checklists, and written instructions to enhance understanding.

Predictable Routines:

  • Establish a consistent daily routine.

  • Clearly communicate transitions and changes in schedule.

Seating Arrangements:

  • Create strategic seating arrangements for all, not just those with a diagnosis.

  • Consider proximity to the teacher, away from distractions, and provide fidget tools discreetly if needed.

  • Create a distraction-reduced space with noise-cancelling headphones.

Supportive teaching strategies

Break Down Tasks into Chunks:

  • Break large tasks into smaller, manageable steps.

  • Clearly outline the steps and provide regular checkpoints for progress.

Use Positive Reinforcement:

  • Acknowledge and reward positive behavior.

  • Reinforce efforts and accomplishments to boost self-esteem.

Provide Consistent Feedback:

  • Offer constructive feedback promptly and consistently.

  • Encourage self-reflection and goal-setting for continuous improvement.

Utilize Assistive Technologies:

  • Integrate technology tools that support organization and focus.

  • Explore apps or software designed to aid students with ADHD in managing their tasks and time.

  • However, do not underestimate the power of the pencil. Out of sight is often out of mind for folks with ADHD.

Collaboration and communication

Collaborate with Support Staff:

  • Work closely with special education and support staff to develop Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) or 504 plans.

  • Foster open communication to address any concerns promptly.

Family Involvement:

  • Establish a partnership with parents or guardians.

  • Share insights into the student's progress and collaborate on strategies that work both in the classroom and at home.


By adopting even just one or two of strategies, educators can elevate student engagement and confidence, not just in learning but in life. Understanding, patience, and partnership will contribute to a positive and empowering educational experience for all learners, no matter their age.

Sign up for Kaizen's Brain Hub Academy to receive free tools and strategies that can be implemented right away in any classroom!

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Samantha Woods Brainz Magazine

Samantha Woods, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Utilizing her experiences and nerdy obsession with neuroscience, learning and the brain, Samantha has become a recognized and well-respected authority on ADHD & Executive Functioning Skills, the management system of the brain. Sam is a self-proclaimed Brain Nerd and has devoted the last 20 years of her career to exploring how the latest brain research can be applied to a student's learning and life success. She has dedicated her life to building Kaizen Education Services, a social enterprise dedicated to equipping educators and students with the essential knowledge and strategies to support with their executive function teaching & development.



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