Later this week, Proctor’s campus will begin to bustle with students arriving for the start of the 2021-2022 school year. The majority of these students will be returning to Proctor, while 117 new students will be commencing a journey at Proctor with Wilderness Orientation. As we prepare for the arrival of our students, we share thoughts on what it means to be a Proctor parent because we all know the transition for parents is far harder than our students!
Understanding ourselves is the first step to understanding how to do your best work. As adults, we are cognizant of the environment needed for us to be our best: level of ideal structure, types of colleagues who complement us best, independence, clear guidance. We learn this overtime, throughout different professional experiences. But what about our students? How do we help them understand the conditions needed for them to do their best work, and are we providing an environment in which they can thrive as self-aware, curious, inquisitive, self-advocating learners?
For the past 76 years, Andover has served as a gathering place for residents from the surrounding region as the town green in front of the Stone Chapel, Fowler House, and Gannett House are flooded with flea-market booths, games, and food vendors before the action halts for a community parade down North Street and Main Street. Roughly 10,000 visitors line the streets as we celebrate America’s independence and remind ourselves of the freedoms promised to all citizens in the U.S. Constitution.
About a month ago, a mother robin built her nest directly above the entrance to Proctor’s Admissions Office. For days on end, I lugged a ladder out of the closet and tried to snap the perfect picture of the nest full of chicks. Alas, I was never able to capture a good enough of picture to post. Late last week, when I checked the nest on my way into the office, it was empty. Mama robin had done her job. She fiercely protected and successfully raised four babies until they were able to fly out of the nest and into a life of their own.
Each academic year only 16 students are selected to be a part of European Art Classroom. To say that it is a privilege to be in Aix and travel around Europe is an understatement. Proctor has challenged and stretched me as a student and as an individual. Being here as a student in Europe is no different. We might not have the same rigid 8:00 am to 5:30 pm schedule, but we are challenged in other ways. We are given more freedom to explore and when I say explore, I do not mean just the sites.
Each week a new student gets to write the blog. We can write about whatever we want. The thing is when teachers give you the freedom to write anything it is either amazing and the words come flowing onto the page, or a painstakingly slow process where you are stuck so long looking at a blank screen that you start to hallucinate or forget what words even are. So where to start?