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.
Admissions decisions were sent to accepted students at 12:01 AM this morning! Proctor had another record setting admissions cycle, but when asked why there is such strong demand for a Proctor education, we often struggle to articulate a concise answer. Proctor’s educational model works not because of a single program, but because of the unique combination of programs and culture undergirding each student’s experience.
The New York Times published this article discussing the frustration of parents dealing with feigned incompetence in their children. We each struggle with this challenge with our own children, but at boarding school we have the unique opportunity of serving as in loco parentis to 360 Proctor students who are not immune to this phenomenon either.
Each program at Proctor exists for a reason. Our unique academic model did not develop by chance, but rather through the vision and commitment of those who came before us at this small boarding school in central New Hampshire. In its infancy, Proctor’s Learning Skills program became one of the first formal academic support program for dyslexic students in the country. Over the past seventy years, Learning Skills has developed into an integrated academic support program unlike any other.