The end of the school year for most Montessori adolescents is a mix of emotions. On the one hand, these are people whose development typically includes an understanding of time, loss, and endings. They appreciate what it means to end one school year and they are astute in their ability to name their own emotional response and to talk through the challenges that saying goodbye can bring. At the same time, because most Montessori schools don't continue through High School (yet!
Bedtime? For my teenager? Ok. Ok. Maybe you're not doing read alouds and tucking in the covers anymore, but it's still important to think about rituals for rest and how they might align to your child's changing developmental needs. And they are changing. Not only do teens need more sleep now than they may have needed in the second plane, their daily rhythm often shifts. So, while teens need between 8.5 and 10 hours of sleep per night, they may actually be incapable of falling
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 to see empathy at work. Except that we don't look for it all that often. Except that we are so fixated on teenagers' choice of dress or hair or music that we forget that, even these, can we evidence of their emp
Like other developmental phenomena, children's experiences with frustration and persistence reflect their stage of development. For learners in the Third Plane, the frequency, intensity and cause of frustration can be almost impossible to predict. These young people are dancing among physical, social and intellectual chaos, with their bodies, their relationships and their identities changing rapidly and irregularly. The only thing predictable about what frustrates them and th
We keep being told that this generation is different. "Kids today" care less. They're shallow. They're soft. They don't know how to deal with disappointment. They're mean. They're selfish. They have their heads in their phones all day and they don't know how to make friends. I don't know. Maybe this generation is different. But I think maybe every generation gets told that they're different than the ones who've come before. I think maybe every generation romanticizes its own
Oh, you dear, patient, lovely people, you teachers of adolescents, you bold adventurers blazing a new path for an ever widening generation of Montessori learners! What a courageous path you've chosen. Unlike Early Childhood Montessori teachers, you lack the public awareness of your practice. Unlike Elementary Montessori teachers, you lack the specific materials to lean back on. The Montessori guide at the Third Plane of development needs to rely on her understanding of adoles
The stereotypes about teenagers abound: the eye rolling, the cliques, talking-back, faces in their phones. If you only believed what you saw in the media, you might think teenagers were universally unruly, antisocial, disrespectful and surly. Yeah, sometimes. But they're just as often, and often more often, kind and compassionate, engaged and idealistic, hopeful to change the world and certain that they can be the ones to do so. They have enough knowledge of the world to noti
Montessori observed particular trends in children's development, which she called, "Planes of Development," and which guide our practice, from what we expect of children in particular age groups to how we organize classrooms. While her influence on Early Childhood classrooms is the most commonly lauded, Montessori's observations about the nature of adolescence was equally profound. Indeed, Montessori was far ahead of her time in understanding the unique motivations and needs