Last Saturday’s 80 degree temperatures saw students flying frisbees on Carr Field and a steady stream of eager swimmers parading to the swinging bridge while Proctor’s baseball team earned an 11-1 win over New Hampton School. With a backdrop of a snow-covered Proctor Ski Area, watching these swimmers traipse to a frigid Blackwater River in mid-April reminded us that, just like the seasons in New England, life with adolescents is filled with apparent contradictions.
Sunshine and blue skies, with temperatures flirting with 50 degrees, is a good reminder that the stubborn New Hampshire winter is gradually releasing its grip on campus. March is an ugly month around these parts, but as we launch the Spring Term, we jump into classes and spring athletic and afternoon programs with excitement and anticipation. It is a chance to start fresh, and an opportunity to reflect on our “why” as a school. Why do we do what we do, in the way that we do it?
How can we do this better? This is a question we are constantly asking ourselves at Proctor because we believe in a growth mindset not just for our students but for our teachers and our curriculum as a whole. Over the last several years, the Mathematics Department has shifted its approach to how teachers teach and how students learn.
“I wish I could be a student here.” In my first few months working at Proctor, it’s hard to count how many times I’ve heard my fellow faculty say these words. I hear it in the dining hall, I hear it when faculty speak with visiting families, I occasionally hear it when teachers are (gently) reminding their students how many wonderful opportunities they have at their disposal.
New students arrived on September 6 for Wilderness Orientation, their faces filled with uncertainty. How would they fit in socially? Academically? Athletically? Artistically? How would they find their friend group, who would sit with them at meals? Today, during a packed Brown Dining Commons lunch, we look around and see connected faces, smiles, seemingly endless Spirit Week energy. We see young people who are finding their way through their high school experience, with the support of an amazing, tireless group of adults who keep this community running.