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Academic Lens: Stepping into Experiences with Confidence

Scott Allenby

As we approach the darkest days of the year, cold nights are countered by a stubborn midday sun that warms us while threatening to soften the frost hardened ground. The thin film of ice on the pond each morning reluctantly gives way as the sun comes up over Gannett House and the east end of campus. 

Proctor Academy Pond Frozen

There is much unknown at the start of each trimester, but during this second week of classes, we step forward with confidence into new classes, sports and afternoon activities, dorms, and friends. We find our rhythm and learn to embrace the unknowns that come with new beginnings. 

Proctor Academy Green House Botany

Often, prospective families visit schools and look for a path to be laid out for them by the Admissions Office. They evaluate how they might fit into those neatly prescribed journeys through high school. This approach works for many students and feels "right" to families who value a tidy outcome from their child's high school years, but Proctor tends to attract students (and families) who thrive on the unbroken path and prefer a blank canvas to a map. 

Proctor Academy Wood Shop Arts

We are the type of school that institutionally seeks to move out of the well worn tracks of education into the uncharted territory of exploring how adolescents learn best. We are the type of school that sends students around the globe on off-campus programs knowing that there will be moments of struggle, moments that serve as the very foundation for growth. We are the type of school that immerses students in academic experiences that challenge their world views, push their physical and intellectual capacities, and surrounds them with the support they need to forge their own path to success. 

Proctor Academy Academic Support Learning Skills

One of the easiest phrases for a teenager to utter is “It’s too hard.” We hear it in the classroom, on the courts, ice, and in the rink, in the dormitory, and in our advisories. These moments of temporary discomfort are common as we encourage students to try something new, to develop a new skill, or to learn how a new teacher structures their class. As educators, we are always working to find that balance of pushing our students through those “It’s too hard” situations, all while providing them the safety net they need to know exists. 

Proctor Academy Science Experiment

The weeks ahead will, of course, be filled with plenty of "It's too hard" commentary from our students, and we will, of course, encourage them to step forward into the unknown of the Proctor experience with confidence because we know that it is just past the "It's too hard" comment that real growth occurs. 

  • Academic Support
  • Academics
  • Community and Relationships
  • Experiential Learning
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