Shortly after the first nationwide Earth Day celebration on April 22, 1970, Proctor launched its own Earth Day tradition of dedicating one academic class day each spring to reaffirming our deep commitment to environmental stewardship through hands-on workshops. Today, more than fifty small, faculty sponsored workshops allowed the entire community to pause from the breakneck pace of the Spring Term in order to reconnect with the natural world that surrounds us.
As coaches of high school athletes, we know well each season brings with it a new set of challenges - new roles, replacing graduating seniors, injuries, snow, rain, more snow. Navigating the unknowns keeps our job exciting. For girls’ varsity lacrosse coaches Jill Jones Grotnes, Kate Austin ‘01, and Caroline Murphy, this spring has done exactly that. As the team prepares for two games this weekend, the leadership of captains Makena Gorman ‘17 and Emily Saef ‘17 will prove critical to guiding one of the youngest girls’ varsity lacrosse teams in the league to a successful campaign.
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.
While complaining there is “nothing to do on the weekends” seems to be a right of passage for every adolescent (enrolled at boarding school or otherwise), Proctor’s weekend activities council does a masterful job planning Weekend Love each week. The breadth of on- and off-campus activities offered varies week to week, taking on the personality of the faculty assigned weekend team duties, and there is always something to do.
The month plays with us, teases us, and teaches us. On Thursday the outfield of the baseball field poked through the snow, brown patches with just a barest hint of green. It was reasonable to contemplate leaning against the white Carr Field fence to listen to the pop of the ball in gloves and the crack of the bat. A week of sun could have gotten us there, maybe ten days. But this morning there is a winter storm warning posted with snow tallies predicted to range from 12 to 20 inches. A quick scan of the Weather Channel calendar reveals more snow possible next week. The infield, the mound, and the outfield will be under snow for longer than expected. Lesson #1: Patience.
Whether it’s hiking around the mall in Washington, DC or to the top of Mount Washington, walking the streets of downtown Boston or downtown Franklin, New Hampshire, the power of Project Period, Proctor’s four day, immersive small group program that kicks off the Spring Term each year, remains the same. While we pride ourselves on an educational model that features academic courses rooted in experiential learning, Project Period provides an opportunity for students and faculty to join together to explore their passions outside of the classroom.
The start of each academic term affords the opportunity for faculty to gather for designated in-service professional development. Past professional development days have welcomed guest speakers to campus, while other days rely on internal expertise to share innovative teaching practices and project based learning. Today, faculty gathered in academic departments to further refine our approach to fulfilling our mission as a school.