Moving to a new class or teacher

Coping with change

Moving to a new class or teacher

This section helps parents, carers and teachers to support a child with ADHD when:

  • They need to move between classrooms and teachers as part of the school routine
  • They need help adjusting to a new, busier or more complex timetable
  • They will work with a teacher who is new to them.

On this page:

  1. Preparing the child for the next class ↓
  2. Preparing for a new timetable ↓
  3. Preparing for handover to a new teacher ↓

Preparing the child for the next class

School timetables often involve moving between classes and teachers throughout the day and even though this may become familiar over time, it can still be disruptive and result in lost time at the start of lessons.

Children with ADHD are generally more disorganised than children without ADHD, and may face the following challenges when moving between classes:

  • Being late due to forgetfulness or distractions
  • Being poorly prepared due to disorganisation.

Preparation for transition between classes can help a child with ADHD face the daily routine more effectively. You can use this short coaching tool for examples of how to prepare a child for the next lesson.

Preparing the child for the next class

A short coaching tool providing examples of how to prepare a child for the next lesson

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Preparing for a new timetable

Over the course of school life, timetables change and may become busier and more complex. Teachers and parents/carers can support their introduction and this checklist pulls together some ideas that may help. 

Use a colour-coding system for the timetable.

For example, the child can use a specific colour for different:

  • Subjects
  • Places
  • Teachers.

Make sure that the timetable is easily accessible for the child, for example:

  • Having copies at home (perhaps one in the kitchen and one in their bedroom) to help prepare for the day
  • Keeping a copy in their school bag.

To help them organise their work and prepare for classes, use different folders or dividers for each subject. If you are using colour coding for different subjects, consider using the same colours as in the timetable.

Use stickers with pictures, colours or words on the front and back of each notebook, so the child can quickly recognise which books are needed for which subject.

Use checklists to help the child identify what they need for each lesson.

Use a notepad, electronic organiser or phone to provide prompts for the child about which lesson is coming next, and what they need for it.

Encourage the child to use a watch to make them more familiar with timekeeping and organisation.

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Preparing for handing over to a new teacher

Informing a new teacher in the same school about what can work best for the child in the classroom can be important in setting the scene for successful learning.

This tool may help to inform a teacher new to the child about techniques that have been successful with him or her.

Preparing for handover to a new teacher

A tool to help inform a teacher new to the child about techniques that have been successful with him or her

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References 

Coghill D, et al. Child Adol Psychiatry Mental Health 2008; 2(1): 31.

O’Regan F. How to teach and manage children with ADHD (2010). Nottingham, UK: LDA.

These materials have been produced with practical advice and guidance provided by the expert European ADHD Awareness Taskforce.

Resources