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Overview For Teachers

FLEXIBILITY: The ability to adapt; display a teachable heart and willingness to change or compromise; to be receptive to new information; the ability to learn from mistakes for the benefit of self and the employer.

PURPOSE: Upon completion of this module, the student will understand the importance of flexibility and the role it plays in their future success in life . In addition, the objectives listed below should be met.


 Ability to understand the importance of being flexible in life

 Ability to become a lifelong learner

 Ability to change and compromise with others

 Ability to learn from their mistakes


This module focuses on teaching students the importance of being flexible . Students will work to improve these skills through activities and guided discussions with their class . They will discuss topics such as being flexible in the workplace, the importance of adapting at work, learning from their mistakes and being a lifelong learner.


What does Flexibility look like in the classroom or in school in general? A great way to answer this and get things going is through engagement with the students. Ask your students these questions:

1. What does flexibility look like in school?

2. How does your flexibility affect people around you? Example: teachers, classmates, family, etc.

3. What does flexibility look like within your learning?


Employers are actively seeking out individuals who are flexible to changing circumstances and environments , who embrace new ideas, and who are resourceful and adaptable. Being flexible is one of the top characteristics employers are looking for in new employees.


14 Signs of an Adaptable Person
Time Allocation: 20 minutes
Materials/Resources: computers/ tablets/ smartphones with internet access or printed copies of 14 Signs of an Adaptable Person , paper, pens/ pencils, whiteboard, markers, computer/ projector (teacher – optional)




 Before the students arrive to class, change as many things about the classroom as possible. Below are some possible examples you could do:

     o Change the direction of the desks

     o Open or close windows

     o Turn off the lights

 When the students come in, have each one find their usual seat (if that’s possible) and have them sit down.

 Ask students how they feel about the new set up of the classroom.

 Then, ask them to raise their hand if adjusting to the new set up would affect their ability to learn.

     o Ask a few students to share why it would affect their learning and if they would eventually be able to adapt to the new set up.

 Lastly, inform students that the topic of discussion for the day is going to be adaptability, especially at work.


 Ask students the following questions:

     o What does it mean to be adaptable?

     o Why is it important to be adaptable?

     o Are there any situations where adaptability would be important?

 Inform students that being able to adapt to new things it a desirable trait that employers look for when hiring new employees. It’s also important in your everyday life. Sometimes things don’t go as planned and you have to be able to adapt and make the necessary changes without overreacting.

 Ask students to think about a time where things didn’t go as planned and how they reacted to the situation.

     o Have a few students share their stories out loud with the class.


 Have students find a partner and access 14 Signs of an Adaptable Person or hand out printed copies if you prefer. Have them read the article with their partner. 

 As they read, they are going to write down the 14 tips that the article mentions (they can write these down individually or together with their partner).

 When they finish reading, tell students that you are going to present a scenario. They will need to figure out how to react appropriately to the situation and the steps they would take to demonstrate that they are an adaptable employee.

 Share the following scenario with the class. You can write it on the white board, project it , or just read it out loud.

     o Scenario: You’ve been working at this company for a few years and have established a great relationship with your boss. You show

     up to work one day to find out that your boss is leaving, effective immediately. As soon as you put your stuff down at your desk,

     your new boss calls you into his office. You walk into his office, introduce yourself and he instructs you to sit down. He then tells you

     that you are switching roles from team member to project team manager. He tells that you are no w in charge of the project team

     and that you need to make sure everyone is doing their part in completing the project and that you must report back to him weekly

     on the progress they are making. You have never been in charge of a team before so you are very nervous and unsure of how to

     manage others.

 Give students a few minutes to discuss the scenario with their partner and decide how they would approach this situation to show they are adaptable.

 When time is up, have a few students share the steps they came up with to adapt to their new situation at work.


 Technology Use: You could create a Kahoot ( which is an interactive game that students can log into from their computers or phones and it will give you instant feedback.

 Non-Technology: “Take and Pass” – Students will get in groups and will have one piece of paper per group. Then pose the question, “How does compromising positively affect your life?” One student w ill start and will write their response on the piece of paper. When they finish, they will pass it to the person on their right and they will then write down their response. Students will continue to write down their responses and pass the piece of paper until time is up. When time is up, students will debrief and will then share their responses with the class.

ETHICAL SCENARIO--Optional (if not using, skip  to "review and closing")

The Ethical Choice Scenarios have been developed to provide teachers with the ability to make the material applicable to real-life and relevant to the students. Within this guide, directions and prompts for the teacher will be in BLUE for ease of facilitation.




You have really enjoyed helping to set up events at the conference center where you work . Now you’ve been given the opportunity to do an event on your own. You started out certain that you were doing everything right and that it was going to be successful; however, the closer you get to the actual event, you realize that you have made a mistake . You told your boss that this event would sell out and not only has it not, out of the 200 total available seats, only 98 are sold. So not even half are sold and you find yourself having a hard time admitting that you have made a mistake. Your boss is heading into the office this morning for an update on things. So judgment time – are you going to be honest and share with your boss what you have learned from this mistake or are you going to try to hide the mistake altogether? The clock is ticking and on the day of the event, your boss will certainly notice that half the room is empty!

ASK THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS: (display them to the class if necessary)

1. How many of you have already been faced with this scenario in real life?

2. What are possible positive or negative consequences for your company?

3. What are possible positive or negative consequences for you, depending on your decision?


NOTE 1 : To help facilitate discussion, share any personal experiences you may have encountered with this same sort of issue.

NOTE 2 : Another option to foster further critical thinking is to then ask students ,“ If you were to decide to try to hide this from your boss, hoping sales got better before the event, what happens if ticket sales don’t come through?”

NOTE 3 : Another option to foster further critical thinking is to then ask students , “ What values do you think are in tension here, why is it an ethical dilemma?”



 Ask students the following questions to get them thinking; post them on the whiteboard or hand out printed copies. They do not have to respond via writing or verbally . The purpose is to get students thinking and to get them to reflect on their current behavior and how/ what to change.

     o One of the top skills that employers are looking for is an employee’s ability to be flexible and able to quickly adapt to a variety of

        situations. Do you consider yourself a flexible and adaptable person? If so, what steps do you currently take to conquer new and

        different situations? If not, what steps can you take to become more adaptable?


CORRELATION TO OBSERVATION TOOL: The Frequency Observation Tool (FOT) has a category where students will be observed and rated on their ability to be adaptable. This lesson will give students the opportunity to understand different characteristics of an adaptable person and how to apply those steps to a real -life situation.

-Visual: Visual learners will benefit from having the necessary information written on the white board.

-Auditory: Auditory learners will benefit from the class and partner discussions.

-Kinesthetic: Kinesthetic learners could benefit by writing down any important information.

-ESL: ESL students would benefit from having a partner to assist them in the writing activity in case they have questions or need clarification.

-At-risk: At -risk students would benefit from the constant interaction with their group and the class to help keep them engaged and on task .

-Advanced: Advanced learners could benefit from the lesson by assisting other students who are struggling with certain concepts in the lesson.

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