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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What Do You Learn From Middle School?

a middle school student feeling successful

It’s been just over a year since I graduated Arthur Morgan School and being back on campus for a few days, it feels like very little has changed. I feel fifteen again, scared and excited for whatever comes next, taking for granted my community, my safe place, the thought of being far away still very […]

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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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Best Way to Start Off the School Year

middle schoolers sliding down a waterfall

Middle schoolers experience lots of anxiety when they start a new school year. They switch teachers for all their classes and face higher expectations. They meet new people and need to figure out new social norms. Their changing body feels awkward and causes self-consciousness. Emotions can be intense and last longer than they are used to feeling. […]

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How to Teach History in an Interesting Way

middle schoolers following a recipe

Middle schoolers don’t always appreciate learning history. Although they tend to be very curious, they are also at an age where they are more socially motivated than academically. They want to engage with their community and prove their worth to other people. In this context, learning historical facts and figures can feel obsolete. However, once […]

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The Pros and Cons of Technology in the Classroom

Two middle schoolers deciding whetehr to sue a computer or a book

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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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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Arthur Morgan vs. Arthur Morgan

Arthur Morgan testifies before a committee of the United States Congress in 1938.

Names have a lot of emotions connected to them. We get attached to them and they become as much a part of our identity as our interests or personalities. People like to google their names to see how high they appear in the rankings or how many doppelgängers are out there impersonating them. When I […]

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Why Should Teenagers Work?

four middle schoolers digging mulch

Its a beautiful spring day and several young teenagers are helping me deconstruct a garden bed.  Carmella, an eighth grader, is shoveling mulch into a wheelbarrow that her classmate, Silas, then carries to a new plot.  On a nearby hillside,  a seventh grader and eighth grader are transplanting bushes from one side of a garden […]

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Building a Sustainable School

a solar panel array

Arthur Morgan School has always valued its simplicity. We warm our boarding houses and academic buildings by burning wood that we chop ourselves. We grow vegetables in our garden and raise livestock for eggs. When our roads are in disrepair, we haul wheelbarrows full of gravel to fix them. It could be simpler to buy […]

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Making Middle School Relevant Through Self Reflection

middle schoolers playing with synthesizers

There is no question that field trips offer wonderful educational opportunities.  Being able to interact with professionals doing actual work allows students to see the real world applications of what they learn in the classroom. They become inspired and see actual evidence of what they can achieve if they work hard and apply themselves. A lot […]

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“Storytelling Quicksand:” Engaging Students in Graphic Novels and Comics

For young people reading is especially important and powerful. In Family Education’s article The Benefits of Reading as a Teen, reading is shown to have a direct impact on a young person’s success. In addition to boosting vocabulary and clear educational benefits, reading expands horizons. It is particularly crucial for adolescents to see mirrors and windows […]

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