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How to start the semester strong when supporting a student with AD/HD

Updated: Dec 28, 2023

As a proactive parent or educator, you might be wondering:

What can I do to set my student up for success this semester?

What should be on my To Do list so that my child has the best chance of getting through this semester with the least stress possible?

If you read my recent article, "What to expect from your student with AD/HD this semester (and how to support them)," you know about the CHASE model.

The CHASE model is the common experience students with AD/HD have each semester, which typically culminates in exhaustion.

However, this CHASE can be interrupted by:

  1. Noticing where the student is in the CHASE cycle

  2. Providing them with the appropriate support to "cut the CHASE".

Keep reading and I will show you how -->

The CHASE model for how students with AD/HD experience the school semester
The CHASE model for how students with AD/HD experience the school semester

First, your student needs to learn the "Managing Your Bosses" strategy.

"Managing Your Bosses (MYB)" will help your student set clear expectations and goals for the semester, thus giving them a much better shot at achieving those goals.

What is the Managing Your Bosses (MYB) approach?

MYB emphasizes proactive communication and collaboration between a student and their teachers.

In the context of education, especially for students with ADHD, it involves the student taking the initiative to reach out to their teacher with clear goals, expectations, and requests for support or accommodations.

The strategy empowers the student and ensures that both parties are aligned and working together towards the student's desired goals. It also gives the teacher a chance to provide input and guidance on how to achieve the goal, fostering a sense of collective efficacy.

Picture of research on collective efficacy
Collective efficacy is one of the most powerful influences on student achievement

It is a means of building a more transparent and responsive relationship, allowing both the student and the teacher to understand each other's needs, expectations, and working styles.

How to use the MYB approach:

Step 1: Save the email template

Have your student copy and paste the following template into their email and adjust it for each teacher:

Subject: My goal for this semester

Hi (Teacher Name),

I hope you had a great summer!

My goal for this semester is to earn a (grade you want) in your class.

With that shared, do you have any suggestions for me on how I can reach my goal?

I plan to do the following:

(share any ideas you have to reach your goal).

Additionally, I’d like to share a bit about my learning style with you:

(share any unique learning disability or challenges, along with preferred accommodations here).

I look forward to working together with you this semester to reach my goals.


(Your Name)

You can download our free library of email templates (including the one above), by clicking here.

Does your student know how to send a proper email?

  • Yes

  • No

  • Not sure

Step 2: Teach your student how to turn on templates

In step 2, you can have your student turn on "templates in Gmail so that they don't need to re-write the email each time. This saves SO much time.

Here is an easy to follow Youtube video explaining how to do that:

Step 3: Teach your student how to "check-in" through the semester to ensure they are on track with their shared goal

Now that the teacher is aware of your student's goal, it is key that your student check in throughout the semester to make sure they are on track.

Using the following email template, the student can seek feedback on assignments before the deadline, thus giving them the best chance of earning the desired grade in the class -- communication is key!

Subject: Requesting Your Feedback

Hi (Teacher Name),

I’ve been working on the assignments, (assignment name) for your class and have completed a draft of it.

Would you please review it and provide me with feedback on how I can get closer to achieving my goal of earning a (desired grade) on this assignment?

Also, is there anything else you suggest I do to work toward my goal of earning a (desired grade) in your class?

Thank you for your guidance.


(Your Name)

You can download our free library of email templates (including the one above), by clicking here.


Are you ready to help your student with AD/HD have a great semester?

You can make a big difference by using the "Managing Your Bosses" method. It's all about talking with the teachers and setting clear goals.

Just follow the simple steps in this blog: Save the email templates, teach your student how to use them, and remind them to check in with their teachers during the semester.

These small actions can help your student feel more in control and work towards getting the grades they want. Let's work together to make this semester a positive experience for your child! It's as easy as sending an email.

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About the author

Sean G. McCormick is the founder of Executive Function Specialists, an online coaching business that guides middle, high school, and college students in overcoming procrastination, disorganization and anxiety by teaching time management, prioritization and communication skills so they feel motivated, prepared, and empowered.

He also founded the Executive Function Coaching Academy which trains special education teachers, school psychologists and other professionals to support students with AD/HD and executive function challenges.

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