Our team gives me a hard time because of my love of conflict. I tell them often that character gets challenged most when conflict arises. I also tell them that I truly believe that they have the potential to change the world. I don't say that lightly, as in order for our teammates to truly step into their challenge zone in our studio, I think they need to know there is a safe space in which to do so.
Relationships are hard and require much effort. Building a community and creating a team takes time. Patience. Acceptance of the ebb and flow in a day. A week. A month. A season of life. Not expecting perfection.
As we work diligently to form our team, I firmly believe it doesn’t happen without conflict. FOR with conflict comes resolution. With conflict comes growth. With growth and resolution comes self-awareness. Self-awareness is a key to ownership.
We strive to empower our teammates to take ownership in their learning. In order to set them up best, they need to experience challenging situations in which they realize they can’t control outside factors. What they can control, cultivate and nurture is themselves. How better to prepare them for the real-world than by giving them the opportunity to encounter conflict, reflect on how they respond vs. how they want to respond, and how they can move forward.
Conflict resolution doesn’t equate agreeing with a fellow teammate, but it does require a sense of empathy and respect for a differing opinion. Conflict resolution allows growth and next steps to be established.
I look forward to many more moments of conflict. Many more opportunities for growth. And the self-awareness that will take place in those moments. I have seen these teammates step up in these situations in ways that adults don’t. Our goal for them is to get as much experience as possible in these scenarios so that they gain confidence in sharing their opinions and in caring for others. As we embark on this second year of school in our studio, I look forward to being amazed by what our teammates do in how they develop character and engage with one another, with our community, our city, and eventually our world.
"No one could have foreseen that children had concealed within themselves a vital secret capable of lifting the veil that covered the human soul, that they carried within themselves something which, if discovered, would help adults to solve their own individual and social problems." Dr. Maria Montessori
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