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November 29, 2019

If you believe what you see on TV, you might think that adolescents are selfish, narcissistic, and judgmental of adults, their siblings, their communities... basically anything around them. While adolescence certainly does come with windows of chaos and conflict, we sh...

November 8, 2019

Montessori adolescent environments are strikingly distinct from traditional Middle Schools. While traditional classrooms may be doubling down on homework, desks in rows and fifty-minute classrooms, Montessori Middle Schools recognize that the rapid and diverse physical...

October 4, 2019

Montessori was deeply concerned with the nature of development in adolescence, and the disparity between the expectations of formal school settings and the needs of learners at this age. In this Third Plane of Development, from 12-18 years old, learners are moving thro...

September 27, 2019

By the time learners reach adolescence, their ability to take on the perspective of another person is well-developed. When you add this to the emerging sense of their own identities and their strong commitment to social justice, the Third Plane is an ideal opportunity...

September 20, 2019

Ah, adolescence. The big emotions. The physical changes. The seemingly endless push and pull between childhood and adulthood, when kids can be as mature as they are silly, as wise as they are scattered. While the outer appearance of adolescents may look like a hot mess...

September 13, 2019

While the intrinsic drive to socialize and the supports needed to regulate that drive were prominent in earlier planes of development, this motivation takes priority in the Third Plane, when learners are transitioning from their reliance on environments prepared for th...

September 5, 2019

When your child was younger, their teachers emphasized preparing the physical environment of the classroom, designing beautiful environments within which everything the child needed to thrive and grow was at their fingertips. For adolescents in the Third Plane of Devel...

August 23, 2019

If you're paying attention to the media, you probably think Middle School is going to be overwrought with hyper-dramatic social conflicts and petty battles between the cool kids and the nerds. Middle School isn't the easiest time socially, but Montessori classrooms pro...

August 16, 2019

One of the best games to play as the parent of a Middle Schooler is, "Guess the Emotion that's Fueling this Behavior." Is it fear? Hunger? Sadness? Joy? Confidence? Exhaustion? Boredom? Is your adolescent's silence because they're upset about something? Or are they jus...

August 9, 2019

By the time your child reaches Middle School, they have probably had more first days of school than you can remember. It would be easy to think that this transition back to school will be smooth and predictable, like going back home after a vacation away. It might be,...

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