Being a teacher

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Being a teacher 2010-03-19T06:27:47+00:00

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  • #88299
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    You know, normally I feel like a decent teacher.

    But this week I’ve been working with coteachers (and will be largely for the rest of the year)

    Whoever thought that the best classroom for a kid was one 20 shelves filled with colorful things and posters on the walls and pictures and pealy plastic on the desks?

    Gah!

    So, I keep getting distracted while I’m supposed to be helping students or doing a reading or monitoring. It’s nuts. I don’t know how the kids managed to pay attention, I’m the teacher and I can hardly pay attention.

    I am also finding that I look really flaky compared to my coworkers. :-(

    Advantages: kids like me

    I’m good natured

    my activities are short and active and creative

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    #93128
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    Patte Rosebank
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    Post count: 1517

    My mom was a teacher before I was born. She taught me how to read before I even knew how to walk. She decorated my room in “neo-kindergarten”, with construction paper cutouts labelling the “window”, “door”, “wall”, “closet”, etc. She taught me the delights to be found in the world of theatre. And, as I’ve come to realize, she also has ADHD in spades, and I inherited it from her.

    The other day, she was completely flipping out over something, and as I tried to talk her down (imagine, one person with ADHD trying to calm down another one!), she shared this little behavioural gem: When she was a teenager, when the teacher would give an assignment, Mom would write out the title, then draw flowers and things around it to make it look pretty…after which, she’d realize that she’d been so busy drawing little flowers, that she’d completely missed the explanation of what the assignment involved. This, coupled with the fact that she had a few years of being very sick, meant that she failed one grade and had to repeat it, and that she had to attend summer school to make up another grade.

    When she became a teacher, she taught the youngest kids—Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 4—and she put together some really spectacular class plays. One was even reported (with photos) in the local newspapers. But she always over-prepared, with way too many visual aids, even when, years later, she taught adult classes. And she’s often said that she overdoes things, because she’s so scared that somebody will find out she isn’t really good at anything. (This is the “imposter syndrome”, which Dr. Jain mentions in “If Bill Had a Hammer”.)

    Knowing that Mom has ADHD (though she refuses to even consider seeking diagnosis and treatment, as it’s one more damn thing for her to worry about), I can understand why every fibre of her being reacted with utter revulsion at the prospect of working in an office…as does mine, and probably, yours.

    The fact that you have personal experience of the distractedness and fidgetiness that your students are feeling, can make you a much better teacher than someone who just assumes that they’re being bad students and just need to control themselves.

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    #93129
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    Ivriniel
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    Post count: 173

    I’m a teacher, too, Briochick. I guess I’m lucky, in that I can usually tune out the stuff on the walls and whatnot when I’m working, but now that I think of it, my classroom does tend to be less on the decorated side than a lot of people’s. Part of this I imagine is because I also have a learning disability which affects my fine motor skills, so there’s no way I’m making a bunch of crap for the walls but maybe part of it is self-censoring so I don’t get overwhelmed.

    My biggest problem has been Admin who don’t get that you can be messy and still be a good teacher. It was harassment from a Principal who was trying to get rid of me (in addition to having a messy room, I have the tendency to point out that the Emperor has no clothes, without realizing it until its out of my mouth. And let’s just say that this Principal, metaphorically speaking, goes around buck naked most of the time. ) that pushed me to stop going “Gee, I wonder if I have an LD or ADHD” and actually go out and get diagnosed.

    Then the diagnosis came back as “both”.

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    #93130
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    Teaching in class is great – however administrative and housekeeping tasks are really difficult. Our administration has complex procedures for final report submission and all those 2 to 3 page emails really loose me. I find if I hang around the water cooler I get a better Idea of what’s required. I also now PRINT OUT all emails and go over them with a highlighter – it’s the only was I can get all the details. I keep all of my lesson plans and handouts on googledocs which has really helped me organize. I can find things now! I can totally relate to Brochick’s assessment of her colleagues view. I’m the “unorganized cooky teacher”. Luckily in our profession we can hide under the moniker “creative”. My real problem is with the online teaching as all admin is email and phone calls. I have a real problem with calls. The student calls are fine – I have no problem. The admin calls discussing curriculum development, protocols and procedures are brutal. I panic and do a lot of agreeing as I’m not even sure what they’re saying – is he even speaking English – what did he say – what does that mean – has he figured out i have no idea what he’s saying yet ??? Does anyone have advice for maintaining focus while on the phone? I could use a little help. It’s great to find this space on the forum! I hoping to find how other people cope!

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    #93131
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    I too am a teacher. In fact I was just nominated for an award this year. So I think I’m a good teacher, but I have a huge fear professionally. I always feel like I need to get myself together and “snap” out of it before someone busts me for the imposter I feel I am most of the time. I fear that day…..every day. I don’t get distracted by the walls as much as I tune the kids out when I’m working with them. I do find however that my biggest weakness is the “boring” stuff. The stuff I have to sit down and do. Planning, reading long, dry blah blah blahs….and staff meetings. Even writing this message and thinking about that stuff gets me wandering….I don’t even remember what I want to say about it. I did tell my staff that I have been recently diagnosed…..no one was surprised. LOL Thankfully they’re all understanding……I just need to find a way to be more on top of things so I can feel better…..

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    #93132
    Rick Green - Founder of TotallyADD
    Rick Green – Founder of TotallyADD
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    Post count: 473

    Winnie, I keep hearing people with ADHD saying we feel like impostors and we’re about to get found out. I know the first time I started directing The Red Green Show (with zero training in how to direct television, never taken classes in it, no degree in television, nothing) I was feeling like the least qualified person in the room to be the director. Every person on the crew had been in television for at least a decade and had worked on scores of different series and specials. At first I drove a couple of the camera people crazy by constantly saying, “Pan down…” or “Pan up…” instead of “Tilt down” or “Tilt up…”

    One of the best things I did, on the first day, was to announce, “I have no idea what I’m doing. Any one of you has way more experience than me. So please tell me what I need to know. If I do something dumb, lemme know. My goal is to make the funniest show we can.”

    Almost everyone gave me good advice, the best being, “If you don’t know, don’t pretend you do. Just tell us what you’re trying to create and let the lighting guys and camera people and so on figure out how to make it happen.” And I did! It was crazy making, to sit and watch everyone else working. My ADHD wanted me to be in there, unfurling extension cords and movie camera tracks… But I learned to let go.

    No one could complain to another crew member, “This guy doesn’t know what he’s doing.” cause I had already admitted it.

    I felt like a fake. And I kept faking it until… I was actually a director.

    Even now, when I get overwhelmed or disorganized and I’m procrastinating, I ask, “What would a super-organized person do right now?” and then I go do that. I feel like a fake, but eventually… well, I’m becoming that person. And it doesn’t feel fake. It’s just a new aspect of me.

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    #93133
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    To all teachers….

    I hope I’ve done this correctly…I just joined this site and I am just learning how to use a blog/forum site. I have been teaching for many years and I SALUTE every ADD teacher. I can barely concentrate enough to let you know how excited I am that I may have colleagues out ther who understand what it’s like every day. I hope to share thoughts with you all as this year gets under way.

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    #93134
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    Hey teachers! So nice to ‘meet’ you!

    I am also one of those ‘creative,’ messy, disorganized teachers, but a good teacher…according to those around me. I also have been waiting for them to discover the ‘dazed and confused,’ lack of planning, always procrastinating ‘me.’ Because I am horrible at planning ahead, I never have stuff for my assistant to prepare, and I end up doing it all by myself at the last minute. I am horrible at communicating my needs and plans (probably because I’m worried I’ll change my mind?!?!) and don’t want my defects to spill over to my poor assistant. She is such a blessing, and is able to accept the god with the bad in my personality.

    After being diagnosed and on (different) medication, I look forward to what the new school year will bring. Two weeks out and I have already started working on stuff and aced my summer grad school classes :)

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    #93135
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    BTW, Paula, i saw your post under medications, I am a teacher and take 2 20mg Adderall XR a day, it’s definitely changed me for the better.

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    #93136
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    Thanks luv2teach. I have finally found Vyvanse and for me it has worked better than any of the others I have tried. I still operate differently thatn anyone else on my hall. My room is not decorated. I have to concentrate on paperwork right now. I feel as if I can stay on the papers, the rest will fall into place, but I’ve already had an AP as me about my room. : (

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    #93137
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    Carry
    Participant
    Post count: 119

    @briochick I think my goofy flaky English teacher must have had ADHD.. He was so all over the place, that he even gave us sex education, because we happened to run into that subject, when we were reading some article about it in class.

    He’ll always be my favorite! He made it fun to be in school!

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    #93138
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    Me and ‘focused’ teachers never got along. I hated going to those classes.

    My favorite teachers were always kind of scattered, especially the ones who were creative as a result. Matter of fact, my favorite teachers were essential in helping me make a contribution to the school environment because they always needed help with something, especially extracurricular stuff. If it weren’t for my scattered teachers, I might never have gotten involved in academic-related stuff.

    Their distractive tendencies allowed me to ask questions on the fly and they’d drop whatever they were doing to help me out. Probably drove them crazy, but I’m a reasonably smart fellow because of their weakness at “sticking to the plan”.

    I miss all of them.

    As a Trainer, I’m just like them. I help anybody no matter what I’m doing. Of course, it makes for longer hours, but if feels right.

    T. Lavon Lawrence

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    #93139
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    Scattered as a teacher?? Oh, that would be me! I have to overplan for each day and make repeated trips to my day plans to make sure that I’m on track with what I’m supposed to be teaching. I work in a large K-8 school where each grade is supposed to teach the same material at the same time. Consistency across each grade!! Yikes!

    If I don’t watch myself, I could get so far behind that I’d be in big trouble. Since I’ve got a big tendancy to teach ‘it’ until I think everybody gets ‘it’, I do tend to always be the last one to finish up on the units.

    Oddly enough, I’ve got one great young teacher that I work with (she’s half my age), that often helps get me on track. She’ll pop into my classroom after school and look at me and what I’m doing and ask, “WHAT are you doing??!!” She’ll then walk over and show me a much quicker or more straightforward way to do a task, wearing a look of amazement on her face that I could be so disorganized or befuddled. The best part of this? It’s all done in a non-judgemental way, just being helpful to an older teacher colleague! Gotta love her! She knows I’m ADHD and sees how it affects me.

    For Paula- I take Concerta 72mg for daytime. If I have something in the evening I take 10mg of regular old Ritalin to hold me together until the event is over. I take my Concerta at 6:00 am since the school bell rings at 7:45 for me and it is long out of my system by 5:00pm.

    How do I find meds? The first day I took meds I remember wondering why my day seemed to be going so smoothly for once. It was just like the stars in the universe were for some strange reason, all aligned correctly. A once in a lifetime experience so to speak. That’s when all of a sudden I realized that today was the first day of my meds. So THIS was what it was like for others everyday! Amazing! No, things aren’t perfect but life is soooooo much easier!

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    #93140
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    Carry
    Participant
    Post count: 119

    @zsazsa Having a colleague like that is amazing! We’ll nominate her for the Nobel prize for ADD aides! ;) Make sure you let her know how much you appreciate her! If you don’t… send her over! ;)

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    #93141
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    Hey guys. Yesterday I just wanted to cry. Anybody get like this? Please?

    I had people stressing around me (some people travel in a cloud of wigged out stress) and everything and everybody felt like they had an emergency and I had the answers. I wanted to scream and tell them all where to go. And then there are the flippant teachers who say…OH, I’m so ADD. And they’re really not. I’st so aggravating because they have NO idea how truly hard a simple thought process can really be and how tiring it can be to just comprehend what the “new requirement of the month” is. Have I said too much.? Please tell me someone out there gets this.

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