Hello to my ADHD peeps and ADHD loved ones,
We are back onto the middle years and I want to talk about something that is a little weird for me to talk about because I have only told people about it a few times. Today’s topic is going through school and teachers while dealing with ADHD. Throughout my education most of my teachers that I have had have been extremely caring and understanding about my ADHD and I feel like they have worked well with my parents. But what happens when you have a teacher that does not work well with someone who has ADHD? I am going to talk about that today and the time in my life where I seriously wanted to just give up on school.
I am in eighth grade and I liked school, at this time I was doing well with it, I had scored the highest on my constitution test a year before. I am enjoying spending time with my friends and I am playing a lot of sports, but I have a math teacher that probably shouldn’t have been teaching. My school had a rule that if you did well in math class then the math teacher would sign off for you to step into Algebra II in high school, instead of having to start at Algebra I again. This sets you up well for taking the harder math classes as you progress into high school, and I had my eyes set on this because I wanted to do well in school. I ended up doing everything I could to pull my A to prove to my teacher that I was ready to step up to the next level of math, and I was shot down. My teacher made every excuse possible to bring me back down. He told me that he was only signing up people that had over a 95% in the class, that I was only at a 90%, and that I wouldn’t succeed in Algebra II because it took too long for me to understand the concepts. To most people this would make you angry, but ADHD doesn’t work like that. Some people with ADHD have what is called RSD (rejection sensitive dysphoria) where basically we take things extremely harshly. When my teacher told me this it made me feel completely inadequate. I felt fully defeated and I completely gave up on trying hard on my schooling. I went into high school and took Algebra I and received a lower grade by 15% from my grade I received in 8th grade.
I don’t believe this was the plan of the teacher, but I do believe the teacher should have noticed that after he told me that he was not going to sign me up to progress in math he should have noticed my demeanor and attitude towards school had changed. I went from asking questions after class to just turning in the bare minimum to pass the class. This one teacher and one moment shaped my entire high school career and I don’t think that teacher could have ever known the impact of shooting me down in that moment. This one moment completely changed my life for the next 8, almost 9, years.
The reason I am telling this story is not to gain sympathy, I should have controlled my emotions better. I should have talked to my parents and discussed with them why I had changed in schooling, but I didn’t. I am telling this story so everyone else can learn from it. If a teacher shoots you down for progressing or if a teacher tells you that you are not ready, it doesn’t mean that you are bad at school or that you are failing, it means that something is holding you back. Talk to your parents and talk to your teacher and explain your case. I know that it is uncomfortable, but I screwed away a lot of my high school because of this experience and I can honestly to this day say I learned more in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade than I did in high school because I stopped caring. I felt insignificant because of this one moment in time. Talk to your parents about how you feel because you never know when one moment is going to change your entire trajectory in life.