Focus is not a new problem. I know this to be true. Because I have been distractible my whole life,
First let’s bust up a couple focal myths,
- Attention deficit is not the inability to focus it is the inability to sustain focus
- The ability to focus is a learned skill not a natural gift.
Focus really breaks down into three parts, inner outer and other, for the most part those are exactly what they sound like. Focus on yourself, focus on your surroundings, and focus beyond yourself.
The S’cool moves- brain-gym, stuff is a good way to pull back that inner focus, a chance to slow and redirect that inner focus, not a brake on the wheel but a throttle.
The distraction headphones, even the establishment of routines, those are manipulatives of outer focus. Reducing the chaos we perceive.
PBIS… creating a “comfortable” place for learning is that other focus, the systems thinking point on the focus Spectrum.
The bad news is that we live in a world of distraction and teach in a part of that world that celebrates that.
The good news is that it’s a skill our brain is “eager” to learn. It’s not that our kids don’t want to focus it is that they don’t know how to focus with any stamina yet.
(The Pixar story starts with the Witch from Brave.)