As students complete final exams Friday morning, we take time to reflect on the past term and the academic growth our students have experienced.
We began the term with a look at the validity of the impostor syndrome
as an essential foundation to understanding the rigorous academic experiences at Proctor. As the post describes, "The difference between the impostor-plagued person and the self-confident person is not competence; it’s attitude." The type of learning our students experience develops students who are able to tackle real world challenges with self-confidence. This post
from early December built upon our discussion of student development discussing the role of experiences in the learning process of all humans. I wrote, "For a school that has shaped its academic curriculum to emphasize exploration and experiential learning, it behooves us to continually look at how we can best shape the experiences of our students."
One way Proctor has tried to shape the experiences of our students in the classroom is by welcoming guest speakers and industry experts to share in the learning process. Emily White Hat
('94/P'14) twice visited campus this term to share her expertise in American Indian land-use policy and to discuss how Proctor helped shape her identity. Faculty and professional staff benefitted from Will Richardson's
visit to campus immediately after winter break (highlighted in this
post and this
post) as the community looked at how to best integrate technology into the learning experiences of students and faculty.
In mid-January, author and teacher Jay Heinrichs
spent time with AP English and Leadership and Ethics classes discussing how to understand the power of rhetoric
both in crafting persuasive arguments for others and in digesting inbound content through media.
Around the same time as Heinrichs' visit, Proctor's vocal music program
was treated to a visit by soprano Martha Guth
and bass Ricardo Lugo
(a regular at the Metropolitan Opera) who offered unparalleled instruction over a three-day period during which Martha and Ricardo rehearsed with the choir and provided an individualized voice lesson for each student. Most recently, the AP Environmental Science class welcomed Hardy LeGuin (P'12) to discuss solar energy projects, which resulted in the student reflection of the visit in this
beautifully written blog post.
Exposing students to tangible, real life problem solving opportunities, whether through off campus programs or a formal classroom setting, provides a unique form of rigor within Proctor's curriculum. Not only are students challenged to think critically in classes, but they are repeatedly expected to demonstrate the confidence to stand alone (perhaps the most arduous of tasks for adolescents, as this
Thank you for reading this blog throughout the winter trimester. With students leaving for Spring Break, the next post will come just prior to students returning for Project Period!