We write often about the importance of community, about how we each must play a role in stewarding this place so it is here for future generations. While we do not explicitly reference Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s notion of a Beloved Community, it is precisely that toward which we are striving at Proctor.
All relationships need nurturing, and Proctor’s 2022 South Dakota Summer Service Trip strengthened our Rosebud connections. Fourteen students and three of us as faculty leaders learned so much through painting and sprucing up a community center in brutal heat, jostling in the back of pickup trucks in search of a buffalo herd, working at an equine therapy ranch and riding horses, and sharing cool evening meals in our campsite. We all came away with a better understanding of ourselves and our country through observing life on the Rosebud Reservation. Below are some of our experiences.
As independent schools in northern New England have worked to diversify their student bodies in recent decades, that same diversity has lagged in the faculty and staff of those institutions. In 2019, conversations began among heads of schools in the region to create a network of future educators in order to build a cohort community that would be both supportive and appealing to join. The result of these conversations is a groundbreaking collaboration among northern New England independent schools and Dartmouth College to create a fellowship program that will provide aspiring educators an opportunity to receive a Masters of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) while participating in a two year practicum at one of the participating independent schools.
From the moment we unlock our phones in the morning until we find the willpower to set them down at night, we are barraged with messages of insufficiency. Targeted ads tell us we need to lose weight, be more productive, be more beautiful, take a new job, be more masculine, be more feminine, be more straight, be more gay, start a diet, exercise more, and countless other not-so-subtle messages of not being enough.
Last Friday evening, we welcomed Phil Kaye of Project Voice to an all-school assembly where he shared his powerful spoken word poetry. Phil joined English classes on Saturday morning as well, empowering students to share their own voice through poetry. Phil’s visit to campus reminded us of the importance of hearing and seeking out varied voices within our community.
Proctor's winter Ocean Classroom program in collaboration with the MET School of Providence, RI and Sailing Ships Maine has been sidelined in Brunswick, Georgia for a week as the crew has dealt with managing COVID-19 cases on board the ship. While the turn of events over the past weeks has been challenging, and disappointing, the resiliency and positive attitude of the students on board, the tireless hard work by the Captain and crew, and the support of parents have been inspiring. With open seas in sight, Calvin '22 reflects on the past week aboard (and alongside) Harvey Gamage.