Going Beyond Proctor's Mission Statement

Posted by Scott Allenby

07/31/2016

Proctor's mission statement serves as a guide in our quest to educate a diverse body of students for the 21st century. While mission statements do not vary much between schools, the manner in which a school goes about achieving its mission varies dramatically. Over the past five years, our faculty has collaborated to develop an outcome statement (The Profile of a Proctor Graduate) and a curriculum guide (Proctor’s Characteristics of Good Teaching) to further inform our educational model. These declarative statements serve as our mission in action, and provide a constant reminder of who we are and who we desire to be as we shape the collective experiences of our students in the classroom, in our advisories, on the athletic field, in the art studio, and in the dormitory.

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Profile of a Proctor Graduate

Proctor graduates are collaborative, ethical individuals, ready to contribute productively to their communities. Our diverse programs and experiential approach to education develop creative, resilient, and knowledgeable problem solvers who take responsibility for their own learning.

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Characteristics of Good Teaching

We believe that learning is social and emotional, and therefore that teachers must create positive, productive relationships with students in which they:

  1. Model core values of Respect, Responsibility, Honesty and Compassion.
  2. Demonstrate understanding of developmental stages of adolescent students
  3. Believe in student's potential for growth and consistently set high expectations.
  4. Develop in students a positive academic mindset that makes them feel:that they belong in the class, that hard work will increase their knowledge and skill, and that they can succeed.
  5. Have a sense of humor and humility.        

Proctor Academy academic model

We believe our experiential approach to learning can create the full learning cycle for all students and that good classroom practice includes:

  1. Understanding learning differences.
  2. Designing coursework to match to align with the learning cycle: concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract hypothesis, active testing
  3. Creating a predictable, consistent, safe classroom environment.  
  4. Being on time, organized and enthusiastic for each class.
  5. Clearly articulating the skills and content goals for the class.
  6. Presenting clear written and verbal material to students.
  7. Scaffolding work to allow students to meet high expectations.
  8. Teaching study skills, learning strategies and test preparation.
  9. Employing a variety of student-centered, active learning activities.
  10. Maximizing time on task for students.   
  11. Being sensitive, and adjusting to, the level of student engagement in class.
  12. Eliciting and responding constructively to student participation.
  13. Providing frequent, constructive guidance and feedback to students.
  14. Expanding student experience beyond the classroom.
  15. Assigning meaningful homework of appropriate length.   
  16. Offering appropriate extra help.
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We believe that assessments, both formative and summative, are part of the learning process and that teachers should:

  1. Publish scoring rubrics and grading guidelines for both effort and performance, skill development and content mastery.  
  2. Provide themselves and their students with feedback from frequent assessments.
  3. Employ a variety of assessment tools that allow students to demonstrate their knowledge.
  4. Promptly return student work, with appropriate feedback.
  5. Base final grade on a fair balance of assessments.
  6. In order to promote a culture of collegiality and career-long development, Proctor faculty:
  7. Actively support the Mission of the school.
  8. Collaborate, and positively engage with, other faculty.
  9. Contribute to department meetings and perform any assigned departmental responsibilities.
  10. Coordinate with Learning Skills Specialists and Advisors.
  11. Work toward a specific teaching goal.
  12. Continually pursue professional development with independent study, workshops, conferences and professional memberships.
  13. Incorporate new technologies in ways that enhance student learning

While our execution of these teaching qualities may be imperfect on occasion, our pursuit is unrelenting. Check back in late August for an update on faculty professional development over the course of the summer! 

Learn more about Proctor's educational model

    

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