Helping Students Find their Passion

middle schoolers posing on the sand

I’m really weird. I know it and I love it. People often ask me how I ended up like this: a bilingual southerner with a passion for cultural exchange, an arsenal of fun facts, and a growing list of bizarre, yet hilarious true stories. My answer is always this: I wasn’t really not born in […]

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Letter from the Clerk – Fall 2018

a summer garden

For both students and educators, summer is a time for adventure, relaxation, and rejuvenating the spirit. I like to spend mine seeing family and exploring these woods. While there, I remember that we operate much like the forest surrounding us; relying on an annual cycle to spur growth.  In going our separate ways for a […]

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How Much Screen Time is Healthy for a Teenager?

middle schooler typing on a computer

It’s a Tuesday afternoon and the students of Arthur Morgan School are having free time. They are skateboarding on the slab, working in the pottery studio, or playing board games in the meeting room. It’s a very different scene from many other middle schools today because one activity is missing: none of these teenagers are […]

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How to Start a Mentoring Program at School

middle schoolers making emotional faces

Arthur Morgan School is in its final week of the year.  Students and staff are busy getting ready for graduation by cleaning, mowing, and weeding the campus. It is a time of celebration and excitement with lots of end of the year activities: a Tourists baseball game, tubing down the river, a mock prom.  Our […]

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Why Should Teenagers Work?

teeagers raking a garden bed

Its a beautiful spring day and several young teenagers are helping me deconstruct a garden bed.  Lillian, an eighth grader, is shoveling dirt into a bucket that her classmate, Parker, then carries to a new plot.  On a nearby hillside,  a seventh grader and ninth grader are busy chopping down a mass of thorns and […]

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Emotional Lessons on 18 Day Field Trips

several middle schoolers making different emotional faces

Arthur Morgan School’s  18 day field trips make for powerful learning experiences that help middle schoolers see real world examples of what they learn in the classroom. They also learn other things as well.  Here is Rey, a ninth grader, explaining some of the unexpected lessons that come from a long road trip. “At AMS, […]

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The Pros and Cons of Technology in the Classroom

middle schooler using a computer

Technology is a complicated issue for many teachers.  Educational apps, documentaries, and podcasts, provide valuable and fun learning experiences.  However, the frequent use of technology often leads to less interaction between students and may causes a reliance on computers. Just ask any middle school math teacher. The calculator, the most basic form of technology, causes […]

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Developing Decision Making Skills for Students

middle school students and staff talking

Getting students involved in governing their school is a pretty new concept.  In the early 20th century, teaching the concept of democracy suddenly became a global concern. Student councils were one mechanism that emerged, inspired by the writings of John Dewey.  Teaching students good decision making skills and involving them in the running of their […]

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Middle School Friendship Issues

middle school girls laughing

When I first heard about some middle schools’ potential ban on best friends, I have to admit I was a little dismissive. Why were administrators putting themselves in the middle of middle school friendship issues? I didn’t believe the idea would catch on and thought it would be impossible to enforce. However, when Barbara Greenberg […]

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Building Kindness in the Classroom

middle school girls hugging

School communities often struggle.  Students become tired and stressed.  They may lash out or act insensitively with their peers. As tensions increase and students respond with defensiveness or retribution, the ideals which tether a school community can start to unravel.  As a result, any kindness that a teacher may be trying to build in their […]

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