Designing a Better Boarding School Campus

two middle schoolers discussing a project in class

One of Arthur Morgan School’s greatest strengths is its campus. A hundred acres of farm and wilderness mixed with academic and art spaces makes for a perfect boarding school campus that inspire students to learn and express themselves. As a community we are always striving to improve our students’ experience. We want them to take […]

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How to Teach Students Decision Making

Students making decisions

Lots of educators get excited about the concept of a student-run school. They picture an academic utopia in which students demonstrate both passion and responsibility for their education. The students would plan activities and classes. They would discuss school policies in small committee meetings and set up norms and rules that would be advantageous to […]

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Managing Student Behavior with a Student Contract

Teacher helping two middle schoolers

Managing student behavior can be a challenging task, especially with middle schoolers. They like to argue and talk back. They like to disrupt class and draw attention to themselves. Some of them recently discovered the power of sarcasm and enjoy using it, a lot. As young adolescents discover their autonomy and figure out who they […]

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The Pertinence of Being Impertinent

middle schoolers demonstrating student leadership in schools by making announcements

“Is it pertinent?” Lillian asks her classmate who is frantically waving his arm in air to get her attention. The boy sheepishly shakes his head and lowers his hand. Lillian scans the circle and sees another student trying to silently get her attention. She is usually pretty soft spoken, but in a clear authoritative voice, […]

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Life and Death Decisions Make for Effective Ways to Empower Students

middle schooler feeding turkeys

Thanksgiving week is fast approaching and that means it’s turkey season. Every year, Arthur Morgan School raises its own turkeys and processes them for our Thanksgiving feast.  In 2010 the online magazine Grist featured the school’s annual turkey harvest in an article which drew many mixed emotions. Some commenters felt teaching middle schoolers about processing turkeys was a […]

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The Arete Project – Nunnian Education at Work

woman using a hammer

It is summer at Arthur Morgan School. Our students have left, and the campus is quiet. We miss their excited voices and constant energy. For years staff used the summer months as a time to tend to the school’s garden or make necessary repairs, but since 2015, AMS has put its campus to a more […]

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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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How to Teach Middle School Art with Studio Time

middle school girl sawing wood

As a middle school art teacher, I am often inspired by my students.  Middle schoolers are knee deep in the messy process of trying to figure out who they are, what they stand for, and what makes them unique as people.  They ask the big questions.  They begin to rebel against the constant adult monitoring […]

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