Lately (and honestly most of my life) I’ve had occasion to consider flexibility… and not that of a gymnast or Cirque du Soleil performer. What I have observed and learned over and over again is that those who are the most flexible and adaptable win. Winning isn’t something high on the list of most Montessorians, so why does winning in this instance matter? In schools, in jobs, in families, in friendships, in most everything a person’s ability to adapt and flex pave the way for a more joyful and productive existence; that’s winning. We know this lesson well from examples in the plant and animal kingdom; those that adapt survive and thrive.
It’s no coincidence that two of the life and career skills listed in the “Framework for the 21st Century” are flexibility and adaptability. Things don’t always go our way. It’s a life lesson. Flexing and adapting to the given circumstances allow room for a positive outcome when it may not seem possible. Children have opportunities to learn this over and over again. It’s our job as adults to help them. Things may not work out as they envision. They may be disappointed. Shifting their perspective, adjusting their expectations, adapting to the new situation and being flexible enough to embrace the shift will lead to feeling of success and, yes, maybe even winning.