As students transition to Proctor, their advisor becomes the single most important relationship in their Proctor experience. It is the advisor who serves as the primary contact for parents with all school-related issues, acts as a mentor, advocate, and academic counselor, and guides students to discover new interests, all while also holding the student accountable to community expectations and managing family expectations.
We believe every young person needs a champion. As Rita Pierson shares in her Ted Talk, trust plays an essential role in forming the relationships required for learning. The advisor-student relationship sits at the heart of this trust-building quest that we embark on with our students each September. For most students, the transition into classes and life at Proctor is seamless. For others, it can be a bit more complicated. Knowing the support of a faculty advisor is rooted in looking out for each student’s best interest allows each student to travel along their own educational journey with confidence. This trust serves as the central contributor to a school culture at Proctor that is rooted in individual relationships.
As we work our way through these summer months, we share an open letter to our incoming families from the perspective of an advisor.
Dear nervous, anxious, excited, new Proctor student,
Every school has an advisor system that you probably learned about during the admission process. At most schools, this person will help with your academic scheduling, will be the main point of contact for your parents, and will meet with you each week to discuss goals for the upcoming year. At Proctor, this is all true, but I want you to know that the relationship you develop with me, will extend far deeper than any checklist of responsibilities can articulate.
I will become the adult in your life who is always there for you. There will probably be others as well - your coach, dorm parent, teachers, etc., but you need to know I am a shoulder to cry on, your biggest fan on the sidelines of games, will be watching your drama performance, and will sit with you in the dining hall from time to time to check in on you and your friends. I will be the visitor to your dorm room on a Saturday night to make sure you and your roommate are doing alright, will nag you to complete your off-campus program applications, and will be your ride to the emergency room when you break your arm skateboarding down North Street. I will be your study partner before a big test, your cooker of pancakes during advisory, and the compass who will continually help you navigate life as a teenager at boarding school.
While you might not be able to think ahead ten or fifteen years, I hope to be one of your first phone calls or texts when you pass major life milestones as an adult. Each student develops a unique relationship with their advisor, but you get the picture, the relationship we will develop is a special one. It is these subtler aspects of the role I play in your life that you and your parents will come to appreciate most, and it is these same qualities that will serve as a foundation for the lifelong bond we will form.
As you anxiously await your advisor pairing (we will post this information on your myProctor portal on August 15), I encourage you to remember there is no such thing as trust at first sight. Developing trust in a relationship takes time. It happens through shared experiences and is solidified through consistency of interactions. Keeping this in mind, I will be integrated into your life from your first day at Proctor. I will greet you on Registration Day, will make sure you are packed for Wilderness Orientation, will walk around campus to make sure you know where your classes are, and will check in with you every day thereafter. With all the unknowns floating through your head as you prepare to start your Proctor journey, know with confidence I will be there for you every step of the way.
Your Proctor Advisor
- Community and Relationships