Later this afternoon we will welcome students back from break for the heart of the winter term. The dining hall will gradually come to life, dorms will fill with hugs, stories from the past two weeks, and anticipation of what lies ahead. Moments like tonight, when we see our students joyously reconnecting with each other, stand in stark contrast to the realities of disconnect and mental health struggles facing so many.
If we are honest with ourselves, teenagers are equal parts frustrating and equal parts energizing. We have moments in our classes, with our teams, or in our advisories where our students make us laugh, inspire us to dig deeper, think more critically, and do our best work. And then we have moments where we want to pull our hair out and question our career choice.
Each time campus empties for a vacation, we are reminded that our students’ presence in our lives fuels our work as educators. This place is just not the same without their energy and enthusiasm pulsing through the community. We are teachers and coaches and advisors and dorm parents only because they are our students, players, advisees, and dorm residents. We are because they are.
Campus is quiet, for the moment. No bikes or skateboards zooming down pathways. No laughter or chatter as students pass between classes. No rushing off to our next meeting, assembly, or practice. Faculty have plenty of grading to do as we wrap up Fall Term assessments, but we take a collective deep breath this week as we celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends.
Nearly every School Leader candidate over the past decade has rooted their platform in a promise to bring more “school spirit” to Proctor. This year’s leaders, Grace ‘23 and Maks '23, have done their part to help build school spirit this fall, and their energy has been infectious within the community. The spirit they have helped build within the school was on full display this past weekend.
During assembly this morning, guest Elena Terry, Executive Chef/Founder of Wild Bearies, a non-profit community outreach catering organization that supports participants to overcome alcohol and other drug abuse issues or emotional traumas, shared a story about her work gathering indigenous seeds and the importance of understanding the history and source of the food that nourishes us.