What are the biggest mistakes in teaching adolescents?

It doesn’t help to use a lens of “making mistakes” in our work—either for us or with adolescents. We interact, we get certain responses, we observe and learn from our observations. We alter our approach toward more effective outcomes.  A fundamental approach in supporting adolescents is to express unwavering faith and patience in them, regardless of their behaviour. Montessori herself said to treat an adolescent “as if he has greater value than he actually shows.” When we know the characteristics of adolescents—their vulnerability, their inconsistently performing brains, their experience of being in a “sensitive period for personal dignity and justice”—we are called to sustain respect by offering choices and work that is meaningful to them, and by working side-by-side—not by command. When we show trust in them and their future selves, they trust in themselves and strive for maturity.

Group of adolescents studying in a Montessori class