When perfect weather intersects with events on campus, a certain magical vibe emerges. Such was the case this past Friday as sunshine, blue skies, and temperatures in the mid-60s welcomed families to campus for our Spring Family Weekend celebration.
Throughout our advisory breakfasts, assembly, classes, parent/teacher conferences, and athletic contests, we were able to share the energy we get to experience daily with our extended Proctor family. Just like we see on Accepted Student Days, our students take great pride in inviting their family members into their life at Proctor.
The enrollment process elicits insightful questions from prospective parents. Many are of the tactical variety (How much homework do students get each night? What does a typical daily schedule look like?) which are relatively easy to answer. The harder questions are those that probe the social and emotional experience of students living and learning at a boarding school. They are more challenging not because we do not have good answers, but because, for so many families, you simply have to experience the Proctor model to fully appreciate the balance of rigor and support, and accountability and trust that exists.
What parents are really asking when they ask these less tactical questions is this: Do you know my child? Do you love my child? Do you have a plan for my child? We answer these questions not through some prepared remarks during the admissions process, but by showing our commitment to our students and allowing our work to speak for itself. We answer these questions over time: on calls home from advisors, through in-person conversations about our students, through Official Notes and the random text to update parents on their child’s growth over the course of the year.
Spring Family Weekend provides another one of these check-points for us as parents and teachers as we reflect on our collective work knowing, loving, and pushing our students toward the next chapter of their lives. It is during weekends like this that we are best able to talk with parents about their students - the good, the bad, the ugly - and how we, together, can help them navigate life as a teenager.
We talk about four year academic plans, off-campus programs, courses to take next year, and the college process. We share those moments where we have observed remarkable progress, and we discuss setbacks along the way. We invite parents into our messy magic of working alongside adolescents knowing that we cannot do our work without a strong partnership with our parents.
As the final out was called in varsity baseball’s loss to Vermont Academy Friday evening, with the sun just starting to set over the west side of Carr Field, we took a deep breath and walked into the weekend exhausted and thankful. We hope everyone was able to unplug (thanks to our planned email outage Saturday and Sunday) and find their own source of rejuvenation as we enter the final five week sprint to Commencement - perhaps the most powerful check-point in our work of growing amazing humans!