Reply To: Child’s desk placed in the corner apart from class

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#112719
AnnaNL
Participant

Wow, as a teacher-to-be with ADHD myself, this blows my mind. I remember having a girl with ADHD in my class when I was in primary school (I wasn’t diagnosed myself at that point). She would sometimes have to sit alone in a corner too. I remember we all thought of it as a bit of a punishment.
I’m a foreigner, but I’m guessing 3rd grade is around 8 or 9 years old? At that age things like this will affect a child more than the teacher probably realises.
I would say that teacher did not get a proper education to be a teacher, or a very outdated one, because my study focuses on kids with special needs A LOT, but maybe that is just in my country.
I’m not a fan of excluding a child from the class like this. If it is absolutely needed (after trying absolutely everything else), the situation should be the other way around. As a teacher you should offer a special needs child (but really any child) whatever they need to focus and learn. If the teacher does think it is best for the child to sit alone in a quiet part of the classroom, then the teacher should make it a positive thing for the child, make it their area. Hang some of their drawings on the wall, put some fidget toys on the table, or coloured pencils, whatever they like. It should be their safe space. Before just dragging a table over to a corner and putting your child there, the teacher should talk to the child, explain why this could help them and encouraging them to try it. Being there should never be a form of punishment and always optional. The child can start the day there and when it is time to get to work, the child should be given the choice to stay there or to sit with the rest of the class, and they will learn what is best for them and surprisingly make good decisions about that. Whenever the child gets overwhelmed or tired, they can return to their safe spot.
I would first try putting the child next to another person, you can tell as a teacher which children will be good for this.
Another thing I do is to talk to the child about what they need, do they find it hard to sit still, do they find it hard to focus, whatever it is, and then I turn these into signs. For example, if they want to stand up and walk around, they could put a green pencil on the right corner of their table, the teacher will see it and know they want to walk. I would ask them to get some paper from another classroom, or to return my coffee cup to the sink, etc. A blue pencil could mean they want to talk to you for some reason (also works great for children with autism, who are often scared to ask for help).
It makes me very sad that many teachers don’t know how to teach children with special needs. Obviously every teacher has their own ideas and techniques, but this just sounds unprofessional to me.
I see that girl from primary school around town sometimes, and she told me the whole thing was a horrible experience for her. All of primary school. Teachers just did not know what she needed and didn’t care to ask.
I really hope the teacher will try to see the situation from your perspective and your childs perspective, and make some changes. You could suggest the things I mentioned above, but many teachers may not be open to methods like this. After all, a lot of people, even some teachers, believe that ADHD isn’t real.