After nearly two weeks of unofficial starts to the school year, the first day of classes has finally arrived. All 371 students are in classes (except Ocean Classroom students who depart a week from Friday), we’ve had our first assembly of the year, have met with advisories, held our first dorm meetings, and gathered with our athletics/afternoon activity groups for the first time. As we begin to settle into a rhythm this fall, we recognize the opportunity a new year provides to define ourselves both as individuals and as a community.
Dominique Jordan Turner explores poverty as a superpower in her TedX Talk recorded earlier this summer (see video below). Her insights into the skills and strengths obtained by young people growing up in poverty not only prove valuable to us as educators of a diverse student body, but her underlying message applies to all of our students. We all share an understanding that young people need to experience an intersection of belief in their lives in order for learning to take place; belief in themselves, others believing in them, and belief in something bigger than themselves.
Each July, Blackbaud K-12 hosts a user conference in Boston that draws educators from around the country together to discuss technology, learning, and the tools we use to help our students unlock their worlds around them. Last year’s keynote speaker, Julie Lythcott-Hames, inspired THIS BLOG POST on how we need to help our parents raise adults, rather than children. Today’s keynote by Dr. Natalie Nixon of Figure 8 Design Thinking sparked an inspired conversation on the future of learning in our society.
As the year comes to an end and we prepare to watch the Class of 2017 head off to their many college destinations, we are always conflicted. Where is she going to college? Did he get off the waiting list at so-and-so University? Why do we do this? We cannot help ourselves. We have read the articles by Frank Bruni, analysed the data showing the lack of correlation between elite schools and economic success, and the longitudinal studies showing that happiness cannot be ranked by US News and World Report.
As we walk through our daily life, a silent voice speaks over our shoulder with every decision we make, “Don’t mess up. People are watching. Don’t mess up.” In a world where our work, and consequently our learning, takes place in more of a public forum than ever before, we wrestle with the dichotomy of perfection and learning, a fear of failure and need for experimentation. How do we fight back against this fear of failure? At Proctor, we believe it’s a fight worth fighting.
For students with learning style differences, transitioning from Proctor to college requires a thorough understanding of the three R’s: Rights, Responsibility, and Reasonable Accommodations. Up until this juncture in a student's education, Learning Skills and/or parents have been the core support system. Here is some advice for our students who thrive on support systems on how to navigate the transition to college.
We are officially more than halfway through the school year as mid-term grades were published earlier this week. In isolation, these numerical assessments of student performance provide a narrow view of student growth. This is why Proctor’s academic model integrates feedback loops (through our Official Notes system) that provide students consistent feedback not only on academic performance, but the growth process.
Last week we discussed the relationship between the concepts of nudge and mindfulness as framed by the Ted Radio Hour on NPR. Today, we look at a portion of that program, Reshma Saujani’s “Can Coding Help Girls Take Risks?” and its application to our students at Proctor. Take a few minutes to watch Saujani’s talk below before reading on.