Got It

Russell Thompson
ELTE adjunct instructor

I have been teaching for two years.  At the one-year point, I experienced an ADHD student.  I did not realize the situation but realized that he was not doing well.  He was the type person that kept to himself, but at different times, showed he was not dumb.   At one point, he confided in me to allow me to see his learning problem.

We worked together a lot during labs to get him through the program.  Retention was his biggest problem so we started clumping different portions of the labs together to shorten the lab.  I saw that he was responding well to these short bursts of activity.

His assessment scores at week 6 did not look promising but we continued working together to see if an improvement was possible.  I came in on my own time to work with him.

During the seventh week lab, he was working it alone while I helped other students.  Something clicked in his mind and he completed an exercise by himself.  He was amazed that he could make a circuit work.  His confidence and interest soared.  He wanted to see if he could do another part of the lab alone.  From that lab going forward, he worked alone and continued to be amazed that he could control electricity.  The basic foundational information needed to do the labs no longer hindered his progress.  He placed well on the final exam showing that he mastered the topic learning objectives.

During the second half of the semester, he raised his score from a 2.0 to a 3.0 to pass the class.  He will need more help as he continues with the curriculum to become an electrician as new theories unfold.

I was glad to be his instructor for the “I Got It” moment.  I realized that the very thing that helped him could help other students.  I have instituted the technique with all students that have a hard time memorizing now, and have freed up a lot of time that was used helping students with labs.

I was present at the “Got It” moment.  To see his face and to see the excitement in his actions was worth spending the extra time with him.  Some instructors may never see that moment, to see the fruit of all they do for their students.  Learning more about student learning this summer has helped to see how his mind works to be a more effective instructor going forward.  Got It?