In the midst of the daily grind of teaching adolescents, we risk drifting away from our “why”. Why have we dedicated our life to education? Why have we chosen Proctor as the fertile ground into which we will sow our seeds of hope for the next generation? In order to best serve our students, we must nurture daily habits of centering around our “why” as individual educators and as a community.
When asked by old friends or new acquaintances what I do for a living, I usually state, “I work at a prep school in New Hampshire.” Most have a general sense of what a prep school is, and I am able to navigate the confusion accompanying my explanation that a boarding school like Proctor is far different than the image they have in their heads from Dead Poets Society or Hogwarts. Unintentionally, the ambiguity of my answer understates the complexity of the "prep" that takes place with our students here.
Today started with a teary goodbye for my daughter’s first day of kindergarten and ended with a hug and pride-filled smile of a little five year old who knew she had encountered a really hard thing, and conquered it. As our new students said goodbye to parents yesterday afternoon and embarked on Wilderness Orientation (a five-day, tech free, small group hiking and camping adventure in the White Mountains), there were plenty of looks of uncertainty on the faces of both parents and students; looks not too dissimilar from the tear stained gaze my five year old had on her face this morning. Entrusting your child to a school, especially a boarding school whose first responsibility with your most precious possession is a five day camping trip, is an incredibly hard thing. And our message to all those new parents at home right now is we are proud of you!
April flood waters from the Blackwater River have gradually receded in response to this week's sunshine as spring peepers scream “pick me pick me” from the wetlands surrounding campus. As I jogged across Carr Field toward the nearly full moon cresting the eastern horizon behind Gannett House during a post dinner run last night, an uncharacteristic summer-like humidity hung in the air. The peepers' relentless calls drowned out U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" playing on my headphones. I strained to hear Bono’s lyrical spiritual journey as I reflected on the dichotomy of the lack of isolation I feel in my existence at Proctor and that which is clearly felt by the vast majority of individuals in our society.
As we prepare for another 60 families to arrive on campus tomorrow morning for our second Admissions Revisit Day, we can’t help but pause to consider: What attracts a family to a school like Proctor? We shared THIS POST earlier this winter as we looked at the different “pain points” we solve for families, but we also need to think on a grander scale in order to truly answer this question. Families are flocking to Proctor in record numbers because the intangibles of a Proctor education align with what our world needs most right now: good people.
The Admissions process at boarding schools has shifted considerably over the past decade with technological advancements and the advent of a common application. Students are applying to more schools, their resumes more full than ever, as they weigh options and try to find the school that will prepare them best for college and life beyond. For schools vying for the most talented, diverse, interesting group of students for the 2018-2019 school year, Revisit Days are critical to helping provide families a transparent window into who we are as a community.
The two most important days of the year are upon us: Admissions Revisit Days on Friday March 30 and Friday April 6. Over the course of these two Revisit Days, we will welcome more than 120 accepted students and their families to campus to attend classes, engage with coaches, teachers, dorm parents, and advisors, listen to student panels, and (hopefully) walk away with a deep appreciation for who Proctor is as a school.
The long-awaited admissions decision date for the independent school world has arrived. Emails were sent to all 600+ applicants at 6:00 PM this evening notifying each prospective student of our Admissions Team’s decision. We are incredibly excited about the group of individuals we have chosen to make up the Proctor Community for the 2018-2019 school year!