Ferrari Brain: A Teacher with ADHD

I saw this graphic on Pinterest, and I had to share. It is the perfect description for how your brain feels when you have ADHD. (My other favorite example is the dog from the movie Up.) My thoughts travel at different speeds during the day (I have the inattentive version). I am always amazed that I am able to accomplish my goals without the aid of medication. I will admit, it is getting harder to focus as our teaching requirements continue to increase.

I can only imagine how my students with ADHD feel when they are in the classroom. Your thoughts move so fast, getting in the way of concentrating on the current task. They just appear without warning. Even when I am having conversations, new thoughts and ideas appear to drive my discussion in a direction. Amazingly, I usually come back to the initial discussion point. 

Brain is like a Ferrari engine with Chevy brakes
Found on Pinterest, ADHD, Dyslexie Girl; Posted on blog, A.D.D. Out Loud, Lindsay Leavitt

A Ferrari Brain has some advantages…

I have always said that being diagnosed with ADHD-Inattentive has been a blessing in my career. It has helped me to understand my students who live with ADHD.

I remember saying to one student jokingly as he was tapping ferociously on his desk, “Now you know we get easily distracted by ants crawling across the floor. How are we supposed to concentrate with you playing a mini-concert on your desk?” He thankfully stopped drumming as he laughed at my statement.   

Every child who has been in my classroom and diagnosed with ADHD has required different accommodations to succeed. They have taught me that each accommodation is a work in progress. What worked for one child may not necessarily work for another child.

The advantage of being a teacher with ADHD is that you have a unique window into your students’ world.

You know what it is like to miss most of the words during a conversation with your colleague even though you looked directly in their face as they were talking. You can relate to misplacing papers when you cannot locate the attendance sheet that you were sure you placed on the cleanest spot of your desk (I tell kids to leave notes on my chair, much easier to find). You understand the world that the ADHD student has to navigate on a daily basis. 

Based on my personal experiences, I have shared tips and tricks with my students for staying focused during the school day.  I have also shared my diagnosis with parents during our Intervention meetings. It is a great opportunity to share with parents the difficulty their children face in school through the eyes of an adult who has similar difficulties. The parents also see an educated adult who is successful in spite of my difficulties with ADHD. 

adhd brain when writingMy goal has been to help my students and their parents understand that having ADHD is not a curse. In fact, once you find out you have it, you become more self-aware as a learner. You begin to understand what works best in different situations. 

…and Disadvantages…

Misplacing the attendance is one of the many adventures that I have had since I was diagnosed. I have missed a meeting or two with the principal; forgotten that I needed to leave the house earlier because I had a parent conference (cue quick phone call to the secretary as I am driving to school); and waited until the last minute to write my report card comments (especially now that I am a Basic Skills teacher). I am thankful for calendars that sync between devices (and reminder alarms) to keep me on track. 

Back to the Ferrari Brain…

I shared this graphic because it is a great picture to share with your children and students to help them make sense of how their brain works. It definitely caught my attention. I plan on posting this in my classroom and carrying a copy with me as I travel to other classrooms. Hopefully, my “Ferrari Brain” will remember to print it out when I return to school on Monday. 

 

 

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2 Responses

  1. mpoyntz
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    Thank you for this wonderful post. Your magic is that your Ferrari Brain is fueled by a loving and passionate heart.