Research shows, and we believe deeply, that when a student feels known and understood, they will have a stronger sense of belonging, will be more confident, more motivated and hardworking, will develop a stronger sense of self and will contribute more in a community. In an environment that is predictable and supportive, young people will thrive.
As an Administrative Team, we are reading the book The Social Profit Handbook by David Grant. Core to Grant’s writing is a commitment by organizations to designing rubrics to assess our individual and collective progress toward our mission. Grant notes, “Used wisely, a rubric not only measures success, but also defines it and helps its users maintain momentum toward future plans and goals.” As we surpass the midpoint of the year and students receive feedback through winter midterm grades, we reflect on what it means to understand our individual and collective growth.
We all have that person in our lives. The one who is our first call when a major life event happens. The one who we can call in the middle of the night without a second thought. The one whose hug is the best medicine. For many of us, our parents or our best friend serve as that person. At Proctor, the advisor doesn’t seek to replace the parent or best friend, but becomes another person for each of our students.
We all have that person in our lives. The one who is our first call when a major life event happens. The one who we can wake in the middle of the night without a second thought. The one whose hug is the best medicine. For many of us, our parents or our best friend serve as that person. At Proctor, the advisor doesn’t seek to replace the parent or best friend, but becomes another person for each of our students.
Sharing a meal with people you care about is an event as ancient as you can get. Breaking bread together is a symbol of forgiveness, togetherness, and a shared understanding of our humanity. It is a signal of coming together, sharing resources, and forging friendships. It is especially important in our fast paced world, where a sit down dinner can be elusive at a school like Proctor where we are all going in a hundred different directions, all good directions, but different. This past weekend we carved out time for Advisory dinners. Some had to play field hockey at New Hampton, or soccer against Bridgton, but we did our best to share a meal together, and it was a powerful experience.
Crafting a mission statement is an impossible task. How, in a paragraph or two, can you capture the entirety of a complex learning community like Proctor? How can you concisely provide the north star toward which your school constantly works? We talk about our core values and key programs, but one short phrase in the middle of our mission statement cuts to the very heart of our beliefs about education: We recognize the potential of each member of the community to stretch beyond what had been thought possible.
Comprehending the complexity of the role the advisor plays within Proctor’s educational model can only be understood once a family has experienced the relationship first hand. We recognize this is the cliche` pitch of "You have to see it to believe it!" incoming families don’t want to hear, but we believe deeply the only way you will truly understand the role of the Proctor advisor in your life is to live it yourself. New students are able to login to their myProctor portal today to see who their advisors are for the upcoming year. Each advisor will soon be sharing a welcome letter with their advisees, but in the meantime, here is an open letter to incoming students from an advisor reflecting on his experiences with Proctor students in the past.
Advisory Dinners are some of the best evenings of the semester, though scheduling them is not easy. Last Wednesday night my advisees came over for a meal, but we had to balance a JV Girls Soccer game at 4:00 pm, Open Gym at 6:15 pm for a basketball player, extra-help for a math student, and the time I needed to clean up my house, bake a lasagna and frost a birthday cake. I try to do a dinner for each advisee’s birthdays, letting them choose the meal and the kind of cake they desire, a tradition left over from my childhood. (My brother always chose fish-sticks, my sister never failed to opt for spaghetti.)