Higher Self-Esteem through Positive Body Image

teachers and middle schoolers in fake mustaches

“Dumbo Melonhead!” My friends in seventh grade gave me this nickname after an unfortunate haircut showed off my very prominent ears and round scalp.  Even after my hair grew back and hid my ears once again, the nickname stuck. I lived with it for years. People who had never seen the haircut still called me […]

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How to Manage Teenage Rebellion and Turn it into Growth

a teenager rebelling against a teacher

Leaf season is always a special time. Thousands of people flock to the Blue Ridge Parkway in these few precious weeks of October to see the mountains transform in a collage of canary yellow, sunburnt orange, and rusty red.  It’s an annual cycle that lets us know the final harvest is here and it’s time […]

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Internships as a Middle School Science Curriculum

Middle school students disecting turkeys

Creating a science curriculum for middle schoolers can be a challenging experience. Much of the material available to teachers is either directed at the elementary or high school levels. Teachers must either choose between childish introductory activities or heavy texts that get too complicated. Middle schoolers require a different methodology of teaching. In the National […]

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How to Deal with Bullies in Middle School

depressed teen

I was bullied in middle school. It’s not a story I tell many people, but around seventh grade, I was at an all time low. I was being beat up relentlessly in my classes. Kids teased me about my clothes, the way I talked and even how I walked.  I felt constantly watched and always […]

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Social and Emotional Learning through Outdoor Trips

middle schoolers with hiking packs resting on ground

“Ahhhhh, George*, stop being such an idiot,” the rain soaked, 13 year old girl in front of me screamed as she threw down her heavy back. George halted, mumbling the last few words of the song he was singing loudly only a second before. The rest of the group stopped mid-step. They stared at Stephanie […]

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Topping Out the New Building

the new academic building

On October 10th, AMS will celebrate a milestone in our new building’s construction with a topping out ceremony. Just like the Scandinavian rituals of old, we will pay homage to the trees that went into the building’s frame and honor those whose hard work made our new classrooms and library a reality. Topping Out? Topping […]

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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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Helping Students Take Ownership of their Learning

middle schooler doing schoolwork

One of the biggest changes from elementary school to middle school is switching classes. Moving from math in one classroom to a different language arts class to a third history class, all with separate teachers, can be very disorienting. Students can begin to view school as just a sequence of different classes, each with its own […]

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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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Building During a Pandemic?

middle schoolers and their teacher in an outdoor classroom

Each morning a chorus of voices sings out on the courtyard slab. For the moment, the repetitive clack of the nail gun is silenced and the saws stop spinning. Everything is silent, except for the melodious (and maybe slightly off key) voices of our students and staff. When Morning Sing ends, the noises will resume.  […]

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Settlers of AMS: A True Example of Experiential Education

a middle schooler working in the forge

Its no secret that most middle schoolers crave experiential education. Instead of sitting in a classroom, many of them would rather get their hands dirty experimenting first hand and learning new skills.  At Arthur Morgan School, we embrace these active desires and put them to good use. We offer a number of different art and craft […]

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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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