Proctor en Segovia traveled to Portugal's Alto Douro region and second city, Porto, for the first time, and students were captivated. Porto is, of course, still on the Iberian peninsula and only a half day's drive from Segovia, but we felt as if we had entered another world. Students were captivated by the richness and contrast of the colors, and the contrast of modern and ancient, land and water, world languages, and Spain and Portugal. Enjoy selected journal entries from Jaz and Eva!
It’s been a long week at school, one of those tough weeks that tests the mettle of individuals and community. It’s been a week of introspection and community reflection, and at the end of it I found myself in the office Thursday night looking at a collection of writings, old favorites by Antoine de Saint-Exupery in a book called Airman’s Odyssey. I was thinking about mountaineering and rock climbing and those experiences of impasse when you find a way forward. Tempering moments.
Each of the blogs we post to The Buzz attempts to capture the power of a Proctor education through written words and powerful images. We know these blogs help current families stay in touch with life at Proctor, and from time to time, parents spot their son or daughter in one of the images used in a blog post. We also know prospective families need to get to know us as a community, and our blogs are an important part of that process.
At first, the title of this blog post was going to be Innovation at Proctor, but then Robotics and Engineering teacher, Josh Norris ‘92, corrected me by saying, “I’m not sure that’s right, Proctor IS Innovation”. A trend at independent schools around the country is to build centers of innovation and makerspaces that afford students the opportunity to experiment, tinker, and develop prototypes of ideas. We, agree these makerspaces are critical to learning. We just have a slightly different approach to integrating these spaces into every student’s daily life at Proctor.
This past weekend was filled with athletic highlights, as eight Hornet teams hosted games. Friday night saw three tremendous performances by varsity boys' soccer, varsity field hockey, and varsity girls' soccer, while Saturday included more of the same from all of Proctor's teams. Proctor alumni represented the Hornets well in their college contests as well!
This weekend, Proctor's Ocean Classroom crew of twenty-one students continues departs Georgia for a fourteen day passage to St. Croix. Five weeks into their once in a lifetime journey, students reflect on midnight bow watches, bioluminescence, dolphins, and living and learning alongside their best friends.
It arrives in the fall, like a chill wind driving down from the north. It arrives in assembly with announcements from Mike and Michele, whips through on the ACT and SAT test days. It arrives with representatives from different colleges walking across campus: Dickinson, Warren Wilson, Colby, Gettysburg, Hampshire, Elon, a steady weekly presence of visitors on the campus. It rustles through the library, through the dorms, through advisory, through phone calls home. For many seniors it can feel like a tightening vice of isobars, for many parents it the same. Nothing, seemingly, offers protection.
Faculty are engaged in Teacher Learning Groups as an on-going professional development initiative focused on modeling a growth mindset for our students. Small groups of three or four faculty members are observing each other's classes and meeting biweekly to coach each other through those observations. Today, I had the opportunity to sit in on Corby Leith’s A block studio art class.
Earlier this fall, we posted THIS BLOG on the Proctor Sister’s Program aimed at building relationships among our female students. We know that for all of our students continuous education, accountability, and tough, honest conversations with ourselves are central to the intentional cultivation of school culture. Friday night provided a tremendous opportunity to further cultivate Proctor’s culture as we welcomed renowned sociologist and gender equality expert, Dr. Michael Kimmel, to campus.
As the schooner Roseway and Proctor’s Ocean Classroom program voyage south along the eastern seaboard, their educational journey unfolds. As with all of Proctor’s classes, the learning that takes place is transcends books, lectures, and traditional learning. Ocean Classroom is perhaps one of the most extreme examples of experiential learning at Proctor, and therefore, its impact on student perspective is truly transformative.
Catching parts of some terrific contests – football, soccer, field hockey – over the past week, I have seen displays of raw athleticism and savvy field plays. Games have been intense, competitive, and enjoyable. I have stood at the sidelines and felt the surge of spectator adrenaline and felt pride (mostly) in the sportsmanship.
The Proctor community mourns the untimely death of alum and member of the Board of Trustees, Shawn Hurwitz ‘83, who unexpectedly died early Sunday morning in a boating accident. Hurwitz, who was Proctor’s commencement speaker in 2012, was not only chairman of a Maxxam, Inc, a Houston-based real estate company, but a champion of providing underprivileged a quality education through his involvement in KIPP schools around the country.
Proctor's Ocean Classroom aboard the schooner Roseway has made its way through a few days of waiting for Hurricane Joaquin to head to sea, and recently sailed into Manahattan. Their nine week journey along the eastern seaboard en route to Puerto Rico continues to bring out the best in each student as they encounter unforeseen challenge, inclement weather, hands-on learning, research projects, seasickness, and new perspectives.
Students trekked, climbed, hiked, wandered, skipped, leaped, walked, and ran (yes, many of them RAN most of the way) nearly 50 miles across Galicia on el Camino de Santiago. First, enjoy Jaz's "portrait" of one backpacker on the Camino de Santiago. Tales from our "pilgrimage" by Will and Jaz follow.
Grace Hovem '16 shares her writing, photography, and video editting skills in this blog post she submitted for her AP Environmental Science course. Enjoy!
Friday was a beautiful gray day—a perfect day for a field trip. This was a field trip consisting of three locations, cold feet, and cameos by notable singer/songwriters as well as salamanders.
For the past 30 years, Project Period has been a critical part of Proctor’s mission to deliver hands-on, experiential learning to its students. The four day, immersive small group program kicks off the Spring Term each year. When you ask alumni their favorite Proctor memory, more often than not, a Project Period highlight emerges. But this program does not just ‘happen’, it takes faculty time, energy and passion to be the transformative experience it is.
With the rain this week, potentially more on the way next, water flows again in the small creeks, the Blackwater River rolled over its banks Wednesday, and we went from muggy to much cooler. It’s a fickle season with frosts, heat, floods, and a blood moon this week. On the same day the river flooded, I chatted with Corby Leith '92, art teacher and kayaking coach, and he was ecstatic about paddling the rising water. “Oh yeah, this is what we want. Definitely. It doesn’t get any better than this.” There’s always delight and opportunity in the contrast and change.
A week ago, family, advisors, and friends waved goodbye from Gloucester Harbor as the Roseway sailed into the Atlantic and Ocean Classroom began its term at sea. Tomorrow, the group departs New London, Connecticut and sails into the Long Island Sound, keeping a careful eye on Hurricane Joaquin as its path unfolds along the eastern seaboard. Already, the lives of the twenty-two students aboard are being transformed. Read student reflections from the first week below.