In just over a month, Proctor’s 120 new students will head into the wilderness of the New Hampshire’s White Mountains for five days of backpacking, camping, and exploring. The experience that awaits them - the vastness of the wilderness, the challenges of hiking high peaks, and the relationships forged with classmates and faculty leaders - will lay the foundation for their Proctor journey.
Understanding ourselves is the first step to understanding how to do your best work. As adults, we are cognizant of the environment needed for us to be our best: level of ideal structure, types of colleagues who complement us best, independence, clear guidance. We learn this overtime, throughout different professional experiences. But what about our students? How do we help them understand the conditions needed for them to do their best work, and are we providing an environment in which they can thrive as self-aware, curious, inquisitive, self-advocating learners?
Roughly 25% of Proctor's students live locally and make the commute to Proctor's campus each day. While day students take part in study hall, eat meals in the dining hall, attend extra help sessions in the evening, participate in all campus activities, and have access to all Proctor has to offer, life as a day student differs from those of boarding students.
Our motto, more than 80s years old, combines two simple sentences that define all that we do as a school: Live to Learn. Learn to Live. The first phrase is a mindset we try to instill in each of our students. The second is a call to action for us as educators in our work preparing experiences for our students.
We are just over a month removed from the end of the school year. A summer routine has settled on campus as Gordon Research Conferences arrive each Sunday afternoon to share their research over the course of the week. Those of us who remain working throughout the summer are busy with projects and planning for the upcoming school year, but it is a simpler existence. We are attempting to do less each day, and in that simplicity we find creativity as we downshift and decelerate out of life’s fast lane.
The last two 4th of Julys in Andover have been incredibly quiet as COVID-19 canceled festivities in town. Today marked the return of the small town Americana scenes that have played a central role in our town’s Independence Day Celebrations for the past 80 years. For those who have never experienced Andover on the 4th of July, add it to your bucket list.