School & Learning

“Who Was Your Favorite Teacher?”

A teacher’s positive influence is felt far beyond the classroom. These readers haven’t forgotten the educators who changed their relationship to learning, and changed their lives.

“Who was your favorite teacher?” We asked ADDitude readers about the educators who made the biggest impact on their child’s life – or their own – and why. Below are examples of teachers going the extra mile for students and families. Please add your story in the Comments section below.

“Within the first month of school, my son’s first grade teacher noticed that he needed support. She began using 504 Plan-level interventions, like emailing us a summary of his work each week, and written expectations for the week ahead. Whenever the class had a substitute, this teacher’s absence was felt. As a ‘missed diagnosis’ kid myself, I was constantly in trouble with my teachers. I told her she was the best teacher I ever had, too.” — Heather, New Jersey

“After a horrible experience in second grade, Mrs. Gallardo’s third grade class was a game changer for my son. She showered him with unconditional love and respect, and she showed him that he could use his brain to do amazing things. The way he still talks about her is a testament to her impact as an educator.” — Molly, Texas

[Download: 10 Teaching Strategies that Help Students with ADHD]

“Mr. Munn was my first male teacher and my first positive male role model. He made school interesting and challenging and gave us some control over what we learned and how we did assignments. I had believed I was stupid, but he helped me see that wasn’t true.” — Michael, Michigan

“My son’s third grade teacher, Ms. Castiglia, was the first teacher who didn’t punish my child for things he could not control. Instead, she gave him actual tools to help him control his body and his impulses during class.” — Lana, New Jersey

“When I told my son’s fifth grade teacher that I suspected he had inattentive ADHD, she immediately agreed and told me how to get a 504 Plan with only three weeks left in elementary school. He really needed the extra time he got in middle school.” — Marie, Florida

“My daughter’s fourth grade teacher was amazing because she was patient and understanding and helped my girl not feel like she was an exception.” — An ADDitude Reader

[Read: “How Teachers Can Initiate and Promote Inclusive Education”]

“My daughter started ADHD medication in second grade, and her teacher was amazing. I made feedback slips that he would send home every day, highlighting her three areas of struggle. It helped so much! He said she became a model student. His positive influence in her life is still felt today.” — Jeannette, Florida

“The teacher who made the biggest impact on my life was my seventh grade history/PE teacher. During a time of low self-esteem, she took me under her wing, made me feel accepted, and helped me believe I could do great things.” — Deanna, Texas

“Mitzi Mitchell was the fourth grade teacher who listened to my concerns about my child instead of writing me off as just another parent who didn’t want to admit that her child was a bad-mannered, lazy kid. She guided me toward testing and the accommodations that are helping my daughter learn and flourish at the same level as her peers.” — Leigh, Tennessee

Supporting Students with ADHD: Next Steps

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