Volume 29, Number 5
As ADHD diagnoses rise, teachers find strategies that can help all students
When it comes to getting his students’ attention, Kartal Jaquette relies on his go-to stunt: Toss a magic marker into the air—and try to catch it in his shirt pocket.This is an excerpt from the Harvard Education Letter. Subscribers can click here to continue reading this article.
He never succeeds, but the routine works. “You use 10 seconds of being silly and then you have the kids’ attention again,” says Jaquette, a third-grade teacher at the Denver Green School in Colorado.
Diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as an eighth-grader, Jaquette is particularly attuned to signs of student inattention—the eyes go down, the head dips to the desk, or they stare right through him.
He is also particularly committed to responding. “I am the one who is in control of balancing attention spans in my class,” he says. Whether or not someone has a formal diagnosis, says Jaquette, “I view ADHD as a tendency we can all have.”