Oh Shift! A simple lesson in shifting our focus and awareness

Last Thursday in my 6th grade, social studies class I was talking to the students about picking their #oneword2017. I will write another post on this amazing lesson, but today I have to share a funny, mindfulness story and I only have a little window of time to post.

So, I am showing the students a plethora of choices for their #oneword2017 assignment from my twitter feed on my computer…I have the ELMO on so the students can see the tweets as I am reading them from my monitor.

We go through some great words… mindfulness, patience, beauty, fearless, courage, joy…. and as I am turning off the ELMO I see a really good word….and yell, “Oh Shift!”

Well of course, the students erupt in laughter.  Yep, they think they caught me.  It’s that legendary moment most students have heard about from a friend of a friend…but that moment where a teacher ACTUALLY CUSSES in front of them, those are the moments of urban legend for sure, right?

So here we are, in that moment, where they have finally heard a teacher cuss, loudly in her class.  Some are startled and look at me a little anxious, others still laughing….

At first reaction, I felt angry.

I knew I didn’t cuss and was immediately defensive inside my head…but, I caught myself…..YAY, and realized the humor…and began to laugh loudly with the kiddos….

“Ok, Ok, Ok,” I said.

“OK I know what you thought you heard”, I explain, “but, as I turned off the Elmo (I tell them as I turn back on the ELMO connecting my computer to the screen) I saw a really great word. ”

My computer now displays SHIFT as a #oneword2017 choice.

Then, I tell them why I think this is an absolutely, amazing choice….

Think about……when someone wants to say of S%$T (hypothetically speaking of course), then truly what they need to do is SHIFT their focus off whatever it is that is ticking them off or causing pain or anxiety.

In a mindful world, we would all say, “Oh Shift!”  To remind our self to be aware of our reactions, our pain, or our emotions.

To shift to a better view of the situation.

To shift away from blame.

To shift away from worrying about something you cannot fix.

The 6th graders LOVED THIS.

We had a great conversation in this class, and later all my classes about the value of, “Oh Shift” for all of us.  To SHIFT when we experience stimulus when we feel that knee jerk reaction to something, anything, that is causing us to react rather than respond….truly gives us power in that moment.

Had to share, such a cute story with a simple, yet powerful message…and one of the reasons I love my job and get such joy from teaching these kids!

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