Proctor Academy's winter 2023 Mountain Classroom program has come to an end after ten weeks of exploring, adventuring, learning, and bonding as a group. The off-campus experience is like none other, pushing students so far outside their comfort zone that individuals learn to rely on each other, and to fully understand the impact of their individual actions on the well-being of the group.
For this Mountain Classroom group, like all Mountain groups, the learning that has taken place, both formal academic courses as well as informal life skills of living in community with others, has laid a foundation for the rest of their lives.
Mountain Classroom is not easy; it asks students to leave behind the comforts of home, their technology, and to immerse themselves in a group-learning experience.
Through backcountry and front-country camping, expeditions deep into the wilderness, and place-based learning led by instructors Jeffrey and Janean, Mountain Classroom students begin to understand that the deepest learning they can experience is that which brings them into proximity to the content they are studying.
Too often, schools are hung up on measuring "days in the classroom”, test scores, or the content covered in courses, but we believe that a student’s education is far broader than that which can be delivered in a traditional classroom. Our off-campus programs provide the extreme version of our philosophy of education, but our on-campus experience seeks to mirror the best of that which happens on programs like Mountain Classroom: small group experiences, contextual, hands-on learning, and breaking down preconceived notions of what “school” should be.
We believe deeply in the value of learning as a process, not a specific outcome. Proctor’s model of academic rigor mixed with academic support results directly in a school culture that frames challenges in a way that encourages perseverance and provides opportunity for healthy struggle. Mountain Classroom students experienced this over the course of the Winter Term and we are incredibly proud of them for all they have learned and accomplished over the past ten weeks.