Encouraging Their Energy and Enthusiasm

This "master teacher" gives her kids with attention deficit confidence and resilience that will last beyond the classroom.

Teacher encourages ADHD children.

My ADHD students have the energy and enthusiasm to 'think outside of the box.' Their ideas will help make our world a better place.

— Donna Bednarczyk, teacher

Donna's Teaching Tips

1. MAKE EYE CONTACT. I greet each child at the door every day. I make eye contact with them as I wish them a "good morning." They must feel welcome.

2. ALWAYS BE POSITIVE. I balance guiding students in class with positive comments about their strengths. By day's end, if I have not given a positive comment to a child, I give her one as she walks out the door.

3. CHECK PLANNERS DAILY. I make sure they have all of their supplies packed for homework and that they don't have too much homework to do.

4. USE THERAPY BANDS AND STRESS BALLS. When kids have to stay in their chairs, I let them use therapy bands. They use small "stress balls," which they keep in their pockets, as fidgets when they feel stressed.


"All we want is for our children to be happy!" This is the mantra of Donna Bednarczyk, a 25-year veteran teacher in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. Whether she's talking about her own two children or her fifth-grade students at Maire Elementary school, her drive to help all of her kids do well academically and be emotionally resilient is the key to her success as a teacher. Donna is a strong advocate for students with ADHD. Her oldest son, Luke, has been diagnosed with the condition. She raised him to be a confident and successful young man. He is now an Eagle Scout and an honor student at Western Michigan University. How did she do it?

Donna encouraged his strengths while supporting him in his struggles. She does the same for her students. She focuses on their positive attributes. "My ADHD students have the energy and enthusiasm to 'think outside of the box.' Their ideas will help make our world a better place. I want them to see themselves as capable learners."

"Donna is one of the most child-centered teachers I have ever worked with," says her teaching partner, Barb Davis. "She inspires her students to have confidence, which is a gift they keep for the rest of their lives!" Kristin Baer, mother to one of Donna's students with ADHD, adds her own praise. "Donna strikes the perfect balance between maintaining high expectations, while providing the structure and engaging techniques a student with ADHD requires."

"Donna holds her students to high standards, but does so with lots of TLC," says her principal Sonja Francett. "She is a master teacher."


Success at School
Advice for handling everything from social skills to homework meltdowns. Download now!

Get This Free Download

This article appears in the Summer issue of ADDitude.
SUBSCRIBE TODAY to ensure you don't miss a single issue.

Do you know a teacher who has encourged your child's strengths? Give him or her a shout out in the ADHD at School support group on ADDConnect.

TAGS: For Teachers of ADHD Children, ADHD Role Models

Share your comments, find solutions and support on ADDConnect!
Discuss classroom accommodations, IEPs and 504 Plans, behavior solutions, homework fixes and more on ADDConnect.

Copyright © 1998 - 2016 New Hope Media LLC. All rights reserved. Your use of this site is governed by our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
ADDitude does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The material on this web site is provided for educational purposes only. See additional information.
New Hope Media, 108 West 39th Street, Suite 805, New York, NY 10018