The most important physical property of earthquake-safe buildings and structures is flexibility. Rigid structures would crumble and collapse during the movement caused by an earthquake, that isn’t the case with buildings that have been built so that they are flexible.
Flexibility is also vitally important in looking after our bodies. People often focus on strength and cardiovascular training when ‘getting fitter’ but flexibility training is just as important, this is because:
It allows greater freedom of movement;
Increases physical and mental relaxation;
Releases muscle tension and soreness;
Reduces the risk of injury.
It is just as important when living life. C Megginson said:
“It is not the strongest
or the most intelligent
who will survive
but those who can best manage change.”
“Last month, in 9 minutes our profession was changed. In 9 minutes everyone was expected to work remotely, to work flexibly.”
I went from teaching a room full of young people to sitting in front of a laptop – now that requires a level of flexibility. However, this wasn’t the first time I have had to be flexible with regards to my teaching. My first teaching job was in a First School and I was there for thirteen years. When I left there, my thinking and pedagogical belief systems were quite entrenched and rigid – they had been formed for the last 13 years at that one school. When I moved to a different school with a different behaviour policy, different pedagogical approach and different belief system I found that I had to loosen the rigidity around mine.
Over the years, I have learnt that in order to be a good teacher I have to be flexible and open-minded. Just because I have been trained in one phonics system, doesn’t mean that it is the best and the only one that everyone should use. As I have moved to different schools (four in all), I have seen that each school does things slightly differently – no school is a carbon copy of another and that is a good thing. I have learnt so much from each of my schools and my pedagogical belief system is no longer as rigid! Flexibility allows for change and change is so necessary in keeping things fresh and new.
I have learnt that flexibility brings joy. If I only want to do things in one set way, then I can become quickly disgruntled. If I am flexible then I am happy. Flexibility in buildings allows them to sway in the wind. Flexibility in me, means that I go with the flow and that brings me peace.