Yes, Maya, Your Strengths Lead To ADHD Success
The Morning ADHD Success Club is working on Part 1 of Module#12 – Building Strength Focused Lives. Maya’s observations are keen. On target. Ignore building your world around your strengths at your own risk. Read on….
Last year my boss was making the point that his employees have different needs, and he outright said, “I can’t just tell Maya what she needs to work on. I have to tell her three things she’s doing right to even get her to really listen.”
The teacher next to me whispered to me, “We ALL need to hear three things we’re doing well.”
While that teacher may be right and while my boss, I’m sure, had no idea why I, in particular, needed to hear three good things, this week the reason is becoming clearer as I continue to see how in order to be at my best, I need to build on my strengths instead of focusing on my weaknesses.
Strengths, especially for those of us with ADHD, are the foundation for success. As I completed my ADHD Success Club homework for Dana involving listing and categorizing tasks, I noticed that tasks I deem as weaknesses involve mundane and routine tasks: documentation, record keeping, paperwork, and organization. Similarly, tasks that bore me but I find myself more adept at are still somewhat routine, but they offer a bit of variation in how I do these tasks: instructional routines, using data, and parent communication.
As I look at the tasks that are my strengths, I notice these tasks involve innovation, creation, and teaching. These tasks feed my passion for teaching and engaging students. Dana suggests that I build my world around my strengths. She also suggests looking at how tasks in weaker areas can be avoided or delegated.
While I can’t clear a lot of these mundane tasks off my plate completely, I can look at ways to reframe those tasks–perhaps delegating more responsibility to my students. Some classroom tasks can be taken care of through class jobs. Other tasks can be partially taken care of with self and peer assessment and through consistent routines.
As this school year nears its end, I begin to think of what I need to keep, what I need to tweak, and what I need to get rid of. I like the idea of looking at how I can spend less time on my weaknesses and more time building on my strengths.
My plan now is to build on my strengths of innovation and creation in order to develop systems that will put more responsibility on students, help them self-assess, and guide them to become more self-directed learners. Also, I’m reworking my lesson planning format to make sure students are clear on what their learning target is as well as how they are going to reach that target.
As I develop these systems for students, perhaps I should focus on three strengths and ways I can build my life around them: 1) I seek ways to grow. 2) I am innovative. 3) I can build on what I know. Both in the classroom and in my life, I plan to continue to grow my strengths.