Teaching Civil Rights to Middle School

middle schooler reading book

If middle schoolers could learn about anything, what would they choose?  At Arthur Morgan School, we ask our students this question every year. During the 18 Day Field Trip unit, our students help develop their classes by providing input on what they want to learn. Our teachers then create engaging courses and 18 day long […]

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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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Managing Student Behavior with a Student Contract

middle schooler listening to teacher in class

Managing the behavior of middle schoolers is an arduous task. Many teachers report arguing, not paying attention in class, lying, fighting, general disrespect and skipping school as problems they face on a daily basis. As young adolescents discover their autonomy and figure out who they are going to be as adults, it’s normal for them […]

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Making the Most of Field Trips

middle schoolers on trip to the desert

Every spring Arthur Morgan School middle schoolers embark on 18 day long field trips.  The trips are the culmination of a five week academic unit in which the students have learned about a specific topic.  Sometimes these topics are science based. Other times they are social studies or art based.  This year we are sending out […]

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What is the Right Age for Boarding School?

middle school boy and girl smiling

When people first hear about Arthur Morgan School, they often ask, “Who goes to AMS?” For many, boarding school can bring up some pretty negative images.  They question why parents would choose to send their middle schoolers away. They speculate that some sort of behavior problem must exist. Their worries make sense. Military schools, wilderness […]

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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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Portrait of a Graduate

middle school student

For many, the cold days of winter are a time of reflection and goal setting.  New Year’s resolutions are made with the hope that the next year will bring positive change.  At Arthur Morgan School, we start the year reflecting upon the school’s mission and vision. As stated, our goal is to help middle schoolers […]

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Clerk Letter Spring 2018

garden in winter

Winters can get long here in Appalachia. Freezing temperatures and piles of snow mean it’s time for our cows to huddle up in the barn and our chickens to snuggle down in their coop. But for our students, cold weather means it’s time to hit the road! Field Trips Ahead School resumes this week with […]

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Importance of Free Time for Students

middle schoolers hanging out

Arthur Morgan School’s fall semester is ending.  Students are leaving for winter break and won’t return to school for a month.  For many parents, this break might seem too long. Most public schools generally only offer 10 days for the holidays.  Having a long break has lots of beneficial potential though.  It can be a […]

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The Craft of Building Community

middle schooler using a band saw to make a gift

Building community is always hard work.  Sometimes it’s emotional work in which people need clearnesses to mediate their disagreements. Other times it’s intellectual work as staff and students try to create classes and schedules that fit everyone’s needs. Sometimes though, it’s just fun, artistic work.  It’s the holiday season.  People everywhere are buying gifts and […]

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