We talk often about how it is the people that make Proctor such a kind, supportive, loving community. As we rapidly approach June 30 and the final official day of the 2019-2020 academic year, we bid farewell to eight talented faculty and staff who have dedicated a portion (or in some cases all) of their professional life to the Proctor community.
When Proctor made the decision to spend the Spring Term learning remotely, the immediate question that arose focused on our academic schedule. Would we attempt to stay synchronous in our learning? Or would that simply be too complicated with students scattered around the globe with varying access to technology? Ultimately, we realized that at our core as a school is human connection, and when we are deprived of that connection, we struggle, and a fully synchronous schedule was born.
We talk often about the culture of lifelong learning that exists at Proctor; faculty designing new courses based on their passions, engaging in professional development workshops and graduate courses to further explore their disciplines. This growth mindset permeates the student culture as students witness adults take the same academic risks and willingly embrace vulnerability necessary to deep learning. Our rapid shift to remote learning this spring has amplified our collective need to embrace an openness to failure and willingness to iterate.
Life is unpredictable. If you told us that this spring we would not be in France teaching but instead writing this blog from our unheated shop, turned into quarantine home in western Washington State, it would be hard to believe. Our son and his wife live in the house and Jen and I are quarantining. We all have social distancing stories to share I'm sure - here's ours.
I have three walking sticks in my office, each with a slightly different meaning, each reminding me of the support needed to navigate different aspects of the life journey. I talk about the life journey and Proctor journey and the challenges that will come at the start of every year. I bring a walking stick to make the point. We like to believe in the myth of “I got this,” that we can do it alone, that we are self contained (or should be), an independent collection of consciousness sailing through time. Totally self reliant. And the truth is that we’re not and we need others on the journey.
Since the early 1980s, Proctor has worked to be as diverse and inclusive a community as possible. The once rigid definition of "diversity" has evolved over time to better articulate a mission of equity and inclusion where we seek to welcome students, faculty, and staff into this community who enrich each others experiences.
In just one week, we welcome new and returning students to campus for the start of the academic year. As our students arrive back on campus, they will be greeted by a group of outstanding educators new to the Proctor community. For the past few days, new faculty have gone through their own orientation learning about Proctor and all of the systems and structures. Please welcome these new faculty and staff members to Proctor and learn more about them below!