Ask any adult about their middle school experience, and you are likely to hear some horror stories. Memories of awkwardness, embarrassment and feeling misunderstood abound. But what if we flipped the script on the traditional narratives of middle school to look at this critical stage in a person’s development with wonder, curiosity, and reverence? That’s just what the Urban Prairie middle school class teachers did when they met over the summer to plan their curriculum for the upcoming school year. We asked ourselves:
- Who is the Urban Prairie Waldorf School Middle Schooler?
- What is our overarching philosophy as Middle School teachers?
- What makes a Middle School a whole as opposed to parts?
What coalesced for us after many days of discussion was the above list of Big Ideas, which represent areas of healthy growth for our adolescent students. In addition to the academics and content of the year, these are capacities that support our middle school students in this turbulent time. We’ll use this list as an overarching framework when planning our morning lesson blocks, skills classes, plays, conference conversations, and trips to make sure that we support these incredible young people on their middle school journeys.