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How to teach EF skills in the classroom (April 19, 2024)

Updated: May 2

There is a secret shared by expert teachers that gives them purpose and clarity, while also fostering executive function skills in the classroom💎

It’s something many new teachers don’t learn in time and end up leaving the profession in their first five years because they are doing all the heavy lifting. 😢

I’ve shared it in the video below, or you can keep reading to discover more.

The secret to staying engaged and motivated as a teacher

Happy teachers spend LITTLE time actually teaching.

They spend MOST of their time facilitating learning.

Here are three ways their classroom looks different.

One: All students have clear roles

Students have actual jobs in their classes like:

  • Paper collector

  • Greeter,

  • Board eraser

  • Or whatever things occur on a daily basis that can be delgated.

These teachers are master delegators and students feel empowered by a role that actually contributes value to the functioning of the classroom.

Two: Students learn the art and science of self-monitoring

Students know how to self-monitor their progress in these classes. The syllabus is not just something that is discarded after the first day of class. It is a living checklist that students use to self-monitor their way toward the completion of the class expectations.

Students are rewarded with increasing levels of independence as they move through the class expectations, not just given more busy work, then left feeling like hard work leads to being punished.

Three: There are opportunities to have fun in the classroom

Teachers who get the most out of their students prioritize energizing activities in their classroom such as game time, skits, and other things that allow students to express themselves.

Kids avoid school when they can’t bring their whole selves to class, but when they are invited to participate through joyful activities they are more likely to return day in and day out, even when things feel hard.


If you are a teacher feeling burnt out or overwhelmed by your work, consider this…

Sometimes less teaching means more learning.

Let your kiddos do the heavy lifting while you guide them toward the destination – just make sure that the destination is clear.

Have other questions about how to apply this?

Drop it in the comment below.

About the author

Sean G. McCormick is a former public school special education teacher who founded Executive Function Specialists to ensure all students with ADHD and Autism have access to high-quality online executive function coaching services. 

With this mission in mind, he then founded the Executive Function Coaching Academy which trains schools, educators, and individuals to learn the key approaches to improve executive function skills for students.

He is also the co-founder of UpSkill Specialists, a business with a mission to provide adults with ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder, access to high-quality executive function coaching services that can be accessed through Self-Determination funding.

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About 👋

EFS started with one teacher deciding that kids with ADHD needed better access to quality executive function coaching services. Since then, we have grown to a team of specialists working both private students and public schools to enhance executive function skills for all students. 

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