This is a quick note about the Proctor community coming together. Attached to this note are some of the critical steps and practices you must be aware of, take, and maintain if we are to keep our community safe. They are sensible, straightforward, and non-negotiable. I don’t say this to be heavy handed but to keep everyone healthy.
As we enter month six of quarantine with our family here in Andover, New Hampshire, we have limited the social interactions of our three children to afternoon swims at Elbow Pond, time with grandparents, and campfires in the backyard in the evenings. During this time of isolation, the connections these small outlets have provided have proven the lifeblood for our family, not because life by ourselves is bad, but because life with others is better.
Entering the Proctor community this year, whether in person or remote, will be different from any other year in the history of the school. It is going to require more of you and more from us. Together we will do the work of community during a pandemic, and it will ask of you grace, circumspect, and resilience. The opportunities of Proctor haven’t changed, but the way we go about accessing them on a day to day basis has been significantly altered by the way we will need to adjust to maintain the health and well-being of everyone.
The 4th of July in the town of Andover, New Hampshire looked a little different this year. Not just because COVID-19 canceled festivities on the Town Green, the parade through campus filled with local fire departments and scout troops, or fireworks over Carr Field, but because of a much needed reframing of our understanding of Independence Day in America.
We enter a new year (and decade) with resolutions to be better. More exercise, less sugar. More time with family, less on technology. I have mixed feelings about the concept of New Year’s resolutions. While I appreciate the opportunity for reflection and the notion of self-improvement, I also recognize real self-improvement happens incrementally and is a far more complex process than a simple declaration as the calendar flips to a new year.
In the midst of the daily grind of teaching adolescents, we risk drifting away from our “why”. Why have we dedicated our life to education? Why have we chosen Proctor as the fertile ground into which we will sow our seeds of hope for the next generation? In order to best serve our students, we must nurture daily habits of centering around our “why” as individual educators and as a community.
Proctor's winter Mountain Classroom group continues their journey westward, spending the past week in West Texas and visiting Annunciation House. Proctor's relationship with Annunciation House dates back over a decade as students meet with and hear the stories of immigrants seeking asylum in the United States. In this week's blog post, Lulu '19 and Sean '20 share remarkable insights into their experience at the border, offering each of us a human window into what has become a largely dehumanized struggle in our Nation.