In a recent conversation with Ethney McMahon P'16, '20, our videographer, she mentioned the following that struck me. "I am lucky enough to have a job that allows me to float into classrooms and onto athletic fields at any time. It’s a free pass to observe this community, up close, in its continual making. I see teachers and students in their element as much as I see them out of their element."
Our Communciations team shares this same perspective; whether it’s footage from here on campus or photos from Wilderness Orientation or blog posts shared from European Art Classroom, Mountain Classroom, Costa Rica, Segovia, or Ocean Classroom; Proctor is always in motion.
A deep-rooted culture of experimentation within Proctor's educational model is reflected in this content we share, each a piece of art our students and faculty produce. Our role is be curator, to continually step back to look at the big picture and to see how each piece of artwork fits into the whole of who we are as a school. We have the responsibility to understand where we have been while setting our eyes on where we desire to be.
As we walk around campus in hopes of telling Proctor's story, we observe our teachers improvise in the classroom, in the studio, and on the playing fields, allowing each student to communicate and learn in his or her own way. We watch in awe as adults keenly listen for the strengths and weakness of each student, and then work hard to craft an environment that will allow for different opinions to be expressed and learning to unfold.
Like an artist in front of a canvas, our teachers layer levels of information, skills, content, and life lessons for each student’s comprehension, understanding, and application. They are continually considering, applying, measuring and adjusting their approach, their presentation of information ebbs and flows as well as they assess the growth in each of their students. Just as no two artists will produce identical pieces of work, the culture crafted by each teacher within their sphere is as unique as the cohort of students under their guidance.
We often write and talk about our school's educational model as a clearly defined path to changing young people's lives, but Proctor itself is jazz. We are improvisational when we are at our best; leveraging the unique talents of those within our community, running full speed with ‘teachable moments’ when presented, all while remaining centered on a core understanding of who we are as a community and how we believe adolescents learn best.