Proximate learning does not occur without risk, but it is in those moments where students are living their education alongside the issues they are studying that world views are transformed. Tomorrow at noon, more than a third of Proctor's student body will submit applications to study abroad on one of our five term-long off-campus programs next year. Many will apply to study off-campus for the first time, while others will look to cap their Proctor experience with a second or third trimester abroad. So why is it that more than 80% of our students choose to study off-campus?
“Which path will you choose?” Each visitor to our website or admissions office encounters this question through our marketing materials. The intent of the question is simple: Demonstrate to each prospective family there is no single track through Proctor, but rather an infinite array of different paths through which a young person will encounter growth opportunities and develop attributes we believe to be critical to success in life after Proctor. But does this focus on breadth of curriculum and individualized approach to academics have unintended consequences for those seeking to better understand the value of a Proctor education?
As we dig out from our third November snowstorm of the season, students return to campus this evening after a well-earned Thanksgiving Break. The beginning of each trimester affords a start as fresh as the snow covering campus today, and we can't wait to hop into classes and winter afternoon programs tomorrow.
The Wise Center was packed Thursday evening for Proctor’s fourth annual Fall Term Innovation Night. Social Entrepreneurship, Engineering, and Culture and Conflict students shared their research, business plans, and progress on their robots with the community. Whether the subject matter was programming a robot to gather and distribute orbs into a specific location, researching the care of pregnant women in the prison system, or developing a business plan to sell and distribute imperfect produce to food deserts, this culminating celebration provides an unparalleled opportunity for students to take the uncomfortable role of teacher.
Early in his career former Proctor Academy Head of School Lyle Farrell (1952-1971) worked alongside Dr. Samuel T. Orton to pioneer the psychometrics and pedagogy of reading disabilities. Farrell would take what he learned from Orton and establish the nation's leading tutorial support system for college-bound, dyslexic students in the early 1950s at Proctor. Through intentional programming aimed at helping young dyslexic boys, the predecessor to Proctor’s Learning Skills program changed countless young people’s lives.
With November 6 quickly approaching, the word ‘midterms’ sparks an immediate reaction: an opportunity to change course. Operating on a trimester system, Proctor has officially passed the midpoint in the Fall Term, and with that achievement, numeric and effort grades have been assigned in each course. Last weekend’s parent/teacher conferences afforded a valuable check-in on each student, and today’s release of mid-term grades should reinforce the larger dialogue around each student’s growth.
As an introduction to Proctor’s Summer Reading program in the spring, English Department Chair Shauna Turnbull P’19, ‘22 shared the following, “Why do we read? There are as many answers to this question as there are readers. But one thing is certain: when we read, we connect ourselves invisibly, and for a brief time, to a world beyond our own doorstep.” It is on this philosophy Proctor has continued to evolve its Summer Reading program by integrating conversations and assessment into English classes each fall.
You can learn a lot from a pickle. Ask Mihaela, who, after performing an autopsy on Big Dill with her lab partner, Caleb, was able to identify the sternal, thoracic, and pelvic regions on the ventral side. Watch Rowan and Tyson use surgical tools (scalpel, teasing needles, blunt probe, and dissecting scissors) to successfully perform a sagittal cut, attempt to identify the cause of pickle death, and eventually, suture the abdominopelvic region and repair the cranial head wound. It’s all in a day’s work for a Proctor Anatomy and Physiology student.