We all deserve to experience what it is like to be a part of a great team at some point in our lives. Great teams know themselves. They understand who they are. They know their strengths, their weaknesses. Each member understands individual roles within the group, and the coach knows how to optimize the performance of the group. It really is magical to watch a team firing on all cylinders. We had a chance to watch a few of those teams this winter including the girls’ varsity basketball team as they made a run to the NEPSAC Championship game over the weekend.
Sustaining and stewarding a school's culture through generations is the responsibility of each of us. Wednesday's inservice day for faculty took a non-traditional approach to professional development. There was no discussion of curriculum mapping, professional goals, or strategic initiatives that will drive Proctor forward in the most competitive boarding school market any of us have ever seen. Instead, we talked about our personal lives in small “life groups” of 8-10 colleagues.
Roughly 40 prospective families arrived to a bitterly cold campus early Saturday morning, immediately feeling the warmth of the boarding school community into which they stepped. Boarding schools are an enigma for many who are unfamiliar with our holistic approach to education. However, for those of us who have chosen to make Proctor our home and have committed our life’s work to helping our students navigate adolescence, the immersive nature of boarding school life simply makes sense.
Students have departed campus for the week and we wade through the grading of final exams, writing of end of term comments, plowing of weekend snow, and tying up of loose ends before a few days truly "off", we pause to thank those that surround us. Working at Proctor is a choice. It requires each employee to put into perspective the greater goals of the work we do: empowering a generation of young people to make a difference in the world around us. It's hard, emotionally and physically exhausting work, but also incredibly rewarding to work with this group of students AND adults who have chosen Proctor.
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.
As a natural part of any community's lifecycle, each year faculty and staff retire or depart for other endeavors, while a new group of talented educators join Proctor. Over the past few days, this group of dynamic, energized teachers has enjoyed (we think!) a thorough orientation to all aspects of life at Proctor. With students arriving in just over a week, we asked each of our new faculty members to share a few fun facts about themselves.
Over the course of the last two days, new faculty members have experienced a crash course in life at Proctor as a part of their new faculty orientation. Charged with the impossible task of understanding Proctor’s culture in a few short days, information is shared at a remarkably rate: names, buildings, rules, expectations, best practices, personal experiences. Throughout it all this group has absorbed each tidbit of knowledge with an eagerness and enthusiasm that reminds us that those who step into a community must do so with intentionality.