What were your best high school teachers like?

What makes a good teacher for pupils with ADHD in your opinion? What do people with ADHD need from teachers that they might not automatically give?

I think it’s an interesting topic, I wonder if pupils with ADHD need a really different kind of teaching in general. I’m currently doing some research into it for my Masters dissertation (if you would like to share my call for participants it would be enormously appreciated but don’t feel obliged to!! https://twitter.com/BartzisKaterina/status/1366722191547654150?s=20)

Research currently suggests that high school pupils with ADHD need teachers to be more patient and understanding of their ADHD, less punitive, and check in with them more often with things like coursework, aka more support for the self-directed parts of learning.


My best High school teacher is very caring and they have ADD as well, so they have been very helpful in my high school career.


For kindergarteners and 1st graders, based on the experience with my son when he was that age (He’s now 43):

  • In a structured physical setting, give the youngster room to explore and choose materials and activities that interests the child

  • Permission to stick with that “safe” activity for awhile

  • Be flexible

  • Praise the child

  • Don’t raise voice, scold, or be sarcastic

  • Don’t talk about classmates to compare, contrast, “motivate”

  • Maintain regular 2-WAY communication with parents / guardian

  • Ask the child about their thoughts & feelings related to the tasks / situation

  • Try not to “correct” the child out-loud in front of other students

  • Look for the strengths, special skills / qualities of the child

  • Do not make any reference to the child’s ADHD during class

  • Let the child take a rest break even if unscheduled

  • Listen to and hear what the child says (or conveys through body-language)

  • Be a champion for the child


  • We had our son in Montessori school for kindergarten and first grade. We think that was the best decision for him. Based upon his behavior and performance issues in Pre-K, that was best. In a public school setting, even in kindergarten, he would’ve been a handful and probably not successful. In fact, prior to making the decision to put him in Montessori, we met with the head of the Public School’s Child Study Team. The head of the CST met us in the open lobby, took one look at our son who was with us, and loudly said: “Oh! This must be Josh . . . Why he looks perfectly normal!” I don’t know what she expected to find, but with that I stood up and was ready to leave. My wife tugged on my sleeve and we went ahead with the meeting . . . Not that we needed to . . . in order to make our decision.

  • I can speak to issues for High School and College based on experience if you like!

Good luck on your dissertation!



Talk about ADHD

I did not notice and/or remember the title to understand that you were asking about . . .





Barry, I think that all of your points are excellent for youths of all ages (although the first couple of points probably apply much better to younger kids than high school age).



Thanks JD for that!

I withdraw “Duh!”

And :face_with_hand_over_mouth: :arrow_right: :sunglasses:


I relized it aswell that like i just read the title and nothing else then wrote a response lol.


Don’t the majority of interesting topics at least go off on some tangents? Let’s keep using these interesting topics to slingshot our conversations into other interesting directions.


My favorite high school teachers, or what I can remember of them:

  • treated my as an individual
  • was willing to listen to me and try to understand my perspective on things
  • was flexible
  • was enthusiastic about what they taught
  • knew what they were talking about

Of course, I think those would be beneficial for neurotypicals as well.

[after my last off-topic comment, I felt I should respond on-topic as well]


I heartily agree!


Definitely good qualities in a teacher. My best teachers accepted each student as individuals, and their interest in their subject was indeed contagious. (Like the saying goes, “nobody cares what you know until they know that you care.”)

I especially liked when teachers take a moment to get “real” with their students. They see their students as people that they are helping to grow.

My favorite high school teacher was the music teacher. (Yeah, I was a Band Geek!)

  • He had a good sense of humor, and so he’d often trade (clean) jokes with his students.
  • He had a passion for music, that was for sure, but he tried to introduce both older and newer pieces to us in a way that (at least for me) made music like a living connection between the past and present.
  • He also kept a Bible in his office, in an unlocked cabinet, that any of his students (past or present) were free to read when they were between classes. He didn’t preach or proselytize, but his simple, quiet faith showed in how he loved his students everything he did.

My favorite college professor was actually also an associate pastor at his church, but this story has little too do with that role of his. He was a short, bald, African-American Computer Science professor with a love for food (and it showed in his girth).

  • Years before, my Catholic Deacon grandfather had been a student of his (and reportedly they’d had many an interesting theological discussion).
  • This one particular semester, my older brother and I were in the professor’s class. My brother is much like our grandfather in appearance (tall and lean with a squared jawline, and pale complexion) and also somewhat in personality (dry humor, analytical, pretty serious, but able to get in on a little humor).
  • The professor stopped in the middle of his lecture and called my brother up to the front to stand beside him. They were a study in contrasts: the tall, pale, serious young man with coarse red hair and wearing blue jeans, next to the short, dark-skinned, genial older man with a bald head and wearing a tailored suit.
  • The professor put his right hand forward, palm up, and asked my brother to do the same. My brother put his hand forward the same way, so the whole class could see the palms of the two men’s hands. The professor said, “will you look at that, they look the same color”. He then looked sideways at my brother in a comical way, waggled a finger at him, and said slyly and loudly, “I’ll bet there was some hanky-panky in your family back-in-the-day!”
  • My brother turned a bit red in the face, but took the joke well, as the professor permitted him to return to his seat, and the day’s lesson continued.
  • I don’t remember what the academic lesson was that day, but the life lesson I took away is one that I will never forget. The way I interpreted it, it was as if the professor was teaching us, “we may look different, but there is also much that is the same between us.” It was a lesson in recognizing diversity and equality, taught masterfully in a single stroke by using a simple visual example and a bit of wry humor.
  • P.S. - I mentioned that the professor loved food. For his final exams, he would get a waiver on the “no food in the computer lab” rule, so that we could have a pot luck. He encouraged students to bring dishes that represented their ethnic or cultural background, because he truly celebrated diversity (and he also enjoyed all kinds of cuisine :wink:)!
  • P.P.S. - The professor passed away a couple of years later, after my brother had transferred from that community college to the state university. The professor’s family established a memorial scholarship, and selected my brother and the first recipient. My brother finished his degree and is a computer programmer to this day, and I think that it was that one professor who helped him choose that path in the first place.

You never know what kind of an impact you will have on someone, but if you show them love, honor, respect, kindness, consideration… it’ll most certainly be a good one!


None of my high school teachers were suitable .

When doing A Levels (the UK exam used to get into university - college on the USA), the Pure Maths teacher , was passionate about Maths. He was the Chess master . He taught me GCSE Maths, AO Maths.

Another teacher noticed I was good at Maths , the year before I did my GCSE Maths, I got the top grade, an A in 1993, aged 14, said I would become a Mathematician.

Both teachers smirked at me , because I was bad at sport ( I had undiagnosed dyspraxia). I saw the teacher who was the Chess master , in March 2020, I told him I have dyspraxia, ADHD and aspergers traits. He said “we noticed in the Chemistry department, we didn’t think it was a problem in those days.”
He remembered my dyspraxia symptoms from 1994 - 1996.

I got a good mark in French, aged 12, the Grammar component , I almost 100%. I got an A in French GCSE.

The teacher could have been compassionate , but if you did not concentrate, she would shout , in a report she said I would do better if I had better organisation and concentration (dyspraxia and ADHD).

The first language I learned I was Arabic before I learned English.

My English teacher , was rubbish , she gave me he maximum grade for effort.

She was happy I got a B in English Language, I got an E in English Literature, could have got a higher grade, if I took the exam later . She was a state school teacher in a top private school . I found English Literature difficult , because I have aspergers traits and ADHD !


I envy you.
I hated all the education i got here. As if it exists to make people dumb and obedient. I tried 3 differents schools, 2 colleges and 1 university, and in the end i didn’t really like it in every single one of them.
Maybe i really don’t get the concept of putting a lot of young people together and educate them without their will. It’s rare sight here to see a student who actually wants to be here. School is mandatory, and everything above is usually pushed onto you by your parents, who grew up back when education was necessary not to dig ditches your whole life.

Every piece of info i really like about our world was gathered by myself on the internet. The best teachers i know about are in fact Youtube lectioners. Like 95% of them don’t even speak my mother tongue. Jessica is one of them for sure.

P.S. I probably don’t know what makes great teachers great, but i am certain what makes a bad teacher bad.
1)They can make even the most exciting knowledge dull as drying paint.
2)They don’t allow you to think freely and make your own conclusions.


These are all such great points. I personally felt that the best teachers:

  • could make me laugh
  • gamified their lessons
  • wrote all their instructions on the board
  • didn’t get overly mad at me for things I couldn’t help
  • genuinely believed in my potential and my willingness to learn, even when I didn’t show it in class.

I was bored and/or distracted through most of my school years and only passed because I tend to test well. Also, the reason I was bored was that whenever we’d practice something, I’d either get it hte first time and spaced out during the repeption - I was pretty good at grasping the core of the lesson, the algorithm if you will - or I’d space out right away, not get it and thus not get anything out of the repetition, but schooling was so slow that usually I’d hardly missed anything. I think.

One teacher gave me pretty good grades for participation because, though I didn’t talk much in class, I was busy writing stuff down as he talked. Of course, he didn’t know what I was writing.

If I participated at all, it was because I was interested in the subject matter for my own reasons. English was always one of my strong suits because most of the music I listened to was in English, but I was also lucky that my teacher had a good hand at choosing books for us to read, mostly. Certainly more often than my German teacher.

Two teachers stood out: My psychology teacher encouraged open discussion, so the learning environment was rarely boring. And my maths teacher just refused to leave me alone when my grades dropped in the last year. But rather than single me out in class, he took me aside and gave me a very constructive talking-to - no blame, just some hints and a firm reminder that he’d seen me do better and wasn’t letting that go. He was the second teacher to try that, and the first to succeed.


@djelibeybi I think people with ADHD need compassionate teachers , they may learn in a different way.
They need support. They should be positive. I think people with ADHD and / or other neurodiverse conditions tend to have spiky profiles. This may result in being good in some subjects and not good at other subjects. Maybe they need extra support. They need the right school environment .

It was not I did not like school. I did not like the school I attended. My school was like an “exam factory.” In my class 5 out of 12 eventually graduated from Cambridge university, UK. It is one of the world’s greatest university, comparable to UCLA, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Pen, MIT, Duke, George Washington university, Georgetown.
Apart from me and someone else, graduated from Oxford university or Cambridge university, Apart from me, two people dropped out of university, other people graduated in Engineering or Medicine from leading universities or from Cambridge university.


From my experience I really needed teacher with patience. I never had any issues with any teachers cause to them (yes specifically to the teachers and not the students) I was one of the quieter students. In class I was pretty calm. As long as I had the permission to draw during class you wouldn’t hear me and I would score good points and keep up with my homework. If I hadn’t finished homework it always had a different reason from purely not wanting to do it. I sometimes forgot homework. But sometimes there where obviously other issues going on. I often even did my homework if I was sick when I could. Just to make sure I could keep up with everything. But the best teachers were usually the most patient and understanding ones. Also in college. The most patient and understanding teachers were the best. I’ve had some amazing teachers.


One of my fav high school teachers was the math teacher (a big surprise for me cause I am not a math type) that I had for two years because at my hs I had the option of taking algebra two for two years instead of one. Anyways why she was my fav was one she was very encouraging when we got a problem right and two eventually I understood the material fairly well that I had a question limit put on me in terms of how many questions I was allowed to answer compared to other students due to how well I understood the material.

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