Exploration of the three “I”s.
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” —Mark Twain.
The Montessori philosophy at the middle school level plays a critical role in the ability for adolescents to discover who they are what their purpose is. A main characteristic of adolescence is the exploration of the three “I”s. Identity is the journey for being who you are. Independence is about reliance on one’s own mind and conclusions. Interdependence is the understanding that we are emotionally, morally, and economically dependent and responsible to each other. The focus on experiential, project-based learning at Riverbend allows students to investigate the three “I”s as central to their learning. The adolescent brain is in the midst of an intense transformation that needs nurturing in a relaxed learning environment that allows for curiosity and rigor to flourish. Our Montessori middle school creates a prepared environment that will enable adolescents to explore their creativity, critical reasoning, and values the process of learning.
Being in a community that encourages the social-emotional and intellectual development of the adolescent, allows students to blossom uniquely. Riverbend supports students from the earliest of ages to be exactly who they are, which is critical as they enter adolescence. Our middle school consciously strives to help students develop self-esteem, responsibility, compassion, self-discipline, and acceptance of others. Our students thrive because they are embraced and accepted as they are. They form unlikely friendships and are effective at developing relationships based on kindness, trust, and mutual respect. I believe our middle school stands out because it is a place of joy. In the midst of this awkward, uncomfortable transition towards adulthood, our students are intrinsic learners, leaders within the community, emerging citizens of the world, and consistently full of smiles.
-Elizabeth Lapon, Riverbend Middle School Teacher