A few weeks ago one of the administration staff emailed everyone to see if there was interest in attending an ADHD workshop. We decided to attend, even though it was scheduled for a Saturday. At the very least, it would become another story for our Edventures.
As most of you are teachers, you will agree that "workshops" can be hit or miss it terms of their effectiveness in the classroom. We often ask the question -- "Is there something I can use on Monday that will make me a better teacher?"
This workshop was a definite "hit".
The event which was held at the modern and beautiful University of the West Indies Graduate school of Business, was hosted by the ADHD Society of Trinidad and Tobago. This is a relatively new group of who are dedicated to raising the awareness of ADHD. Attendees at the workshop, the second in the series, included educators, parents, clinicians, ministry of education staff. The highlight of the day were the sessions lead by Ben Glenn (@, http://www.simplybenglenn.com).
Ben was diagnosed with Dyslexia and other Learning Disabilities while in grade school. As an adult he learned that he also had ADHD "and suddenly everything about my life made perfect sense".
Ben was an energetic and funny speaker who entertained us with stories of growing up with 2 brothers who also had ADHD. He told of interactions with his parents and how he was inspired by one of his teachers to "snap out of it". One of his daughters is "just like her daddy", so he is seeing things from the other side now.
Ben had many messages for us:
- "you can't discipline a Neurological Brain Disorder"
- "the biggest struggle is that the kid feels stupid"
- "ADHD kids will hyperfocus -- usually on the wrong thing"
- "sometimes the teacher is not the most sparkly thing in the classroom"
- "only you can unlock your potential. Teachers and parents can give you the keys"
- "When you find the thing you love, pour your heart into it and you'll make a difference"
- "ADHD kids need 'relentless encouragement' over the long haul"
- "you have to find a way to build their confidence"
- "find the good"
Ben took a few minutes during each of his two sessions show us his creative side by making chalk drawings. The music was loud and the audience silent as Ben worked at his canvas. The drawings took 12-15 minutes to create. I was amazing to watch him work -- focus, hard work and a lot of chalk dust. You can see photos of him working in the Gallery