Have him tested for APD (Auditory Processing Disorder). It closely mimicks ADD. In fact many parents put their kids on Ritalin thinking they have ADD when they really have APD. Ask your doctor for a referral to an Audiologist. They will do a thorough test on him that takes about 2 to 3 hours. This is not your simple hearing test. They go much further. My daughter passed the regular hearing test but failed miserably on the APD test. They have them wear headphones and do different tests like ask them to say back something they say to them in the headphones but they will have all this background noise too to see if they are able to process it all. My daughter was diagnosed with APD but we caught it late after years of her struggling in school. Kids with APD have a hard time blocking noise around them so that they can concentrate which could be why he's fine at home where it's more quiet. So was my daughter. She'd do great one on one doing her homework etc. In the classroom they hear everything, every pen drop, every whisper, the air conditioner kicking in, the child coughing next to them. They can't block out all that noise like most of us can. It all comes at them at once. They also do better with written instructions than verbal for the same reasons. I'm not saying he has this or not, but it can't hurt to get it checked out just to make sure.
If he checks out fine with this test then I'd say it's probably a behavior issue that he just needs help learning to control his impulses and hopefully as he gets older and more mature he'll do better.
Hope any of this helps!
First thing I agree with Teko about the push for ADD or ADHD. I myself am a Elementary Teacher and can't stand the stuff. I have more zombies in my room than I have children. Children are not meant to sit that long and with that much militaristic influence. Think about how you feel after having to sit through a long meeting or at the DMV for a few hours. You are not happy, you may feel irritated, sleeping, angry, anxious, the list could continue. It sounds to me like this teacher doesn't want to have to deal with Management issues. It is not easy as a new teacher learning how to do this but I don't think medicating children is the answer. Your child does need to be reminded of the appropriate behavior needed to succeed in school but he doesn't necessarily need to be medicated. I am concerned that these teachers would be pushing for this. I don't know what State you are in but where I am from an Education degree does not equal a Doctorate and it is also very illegal for teachers in my state to suggest or tell a parent that there child has anything closely resembling a medical condition. Only a doctor can determine that. I would get a few different opinions first, unless you have a doctor that you trust completely. Frankly, I don't have one that I feel comfortable enough with if they diagnosed my child with that and I didn't feel that was the problem.
As far as this APD test. I don't see where it would hurt. You said that the grades were suffering maybe there is a reason like a filtering or a processing problem...some of which can be dealt with without medication. I have two sisters who are dyslexic and who exhibit signs of ADHD. Hyperactivity, lack of focus and ambition...once they learned how their brains process things and how they learn, they learned that they can learn and one is about to graduate college as an X-Ray Technician.
It is just a matter of finding the path that works for him and that is part of his teachers job.
Here is a saying that I love and maybe she needs, "If children can't learn the way we teach, then we should teach the way they learn." This is true for every child that steps through our doors.
Trust your instincts...If you don't think it ADD or ADHD don't be pressured to give in.
Hope it helps.
I had a teacher push to have my son put on Ritalin when he was in 5th grade. She'd say he would twist around in his seat or tap his pencil on his desk or stare off into space. I tried telling her that if she'd just tap him on the shoulder and bring his attention back around and tell him to get back to work, that he would. But she didn't want to deal with it and insisted that I put him on Ritalin. She felt like "he was stressed" because we had him in too many activities. He was taking swim lessons once a week, boy scouts once a week and band 3 times a week. All of these he loved and had asked and wanted to be involved in. His grades did not suffer. But she tried making us feel like we were bad parents who pushed our child too much. Finally, we caved in and got him on the smallest dosage of Ritalin and of course she raved about what a difference it made. What she didn't realize is that after trying it for a few months, we stopped and didn't tell her. The next year when he was in 6th grade his 6th grade teacher told us firmly that he did not need to be on Ritalin! In fact, they had him tested at reading at an 11th grade level. He was just so smart that he was bored with school. He didn't feel like he fit in with the other kids. He did struggle for awhile socially because of that, but today he is 19 and in his second year of college and so smart and well read that I can't keep up with him! So, don't let some teacher push you to medicate your kids. I agree with the above poster. Some teachers just don't want to deal with the kids and it's easier to turn them into zombies who behave than to try and correct or guide them to the right behavior. Stick to your guns! You're the mom and you know your child better than anyone else. Don't let anyone push you to do something you don't want to do. Best wishes.