As a coach, momentum is either your best friend or your worst enemy. If your team is making a run, you hear fans cheering, watch as your players dial in their focus with adrenaline rushing, and maybe even a flow state achieved. If your team is on the unfortunate end of momentum, you hope for the whistle to blow, searching for any stoppage of play to call a timeout and help your team regroup.
Regardless of how your team was playing heading into the timeout, great coaches help their teams emerge focused and resolute in their determination to either rebuild the momentum they had prior or to alter their team’s course moving forward. This week, we returned to action after a well-deserved timeout over Thanksgiving Break and have seen our community capitalize on the momentum from the Fall Term, carrying it forward into the winter months.
Winter sports teams are on snow at the Proctor Ski Area and our varsity basketball teams hosted St. Paul’s School Wednesday afternoon for opening scrimmages. The energy in the gym was palpable, as it is over at the ski area each afternoon. While early season results are rarely indicative of the direction a season will take, there is optimism that accompanies a new season as we appreciate new talent, new roles we get to play, and come to the realization that we are joined together in a shared mission for the next twelve weeks.
The same energy and enthusiasm we saw in the gym yesterday is mirrored in the first days of classes and auditions for the winter musical, Mean Girls the Musical, High School Edition, as the Performing Arts Department hosted Michael Stoddard, an Executive Director, Artistic Director, Actor, and Playwright, for a master class in auditions. We are riding the momentum that comes with a new beginning and a fresh start, but as seasoned educators we know there are always plenty of highs and lows for our students over the course of the winter months.
It is during these moments when we may feel a shift in momentum that Proctor’s educational model shines most brightly. Some schools (and families attending those schools) trend toward a transactional approach to education where there is merely an exchange of goods and services and a pre-articulated “outcome” for tuition dollars. At Proctor, we engage in a vastly different approach to our work. We invest time and energy in our students so we can listen deeply to them as they shape their own Proctor experience. We view each sport, each course, each performance, each success, and each misstep as a piece of their journey of becoming. The only transaction that occurs is our families placing their trust in the gifted educators across the Proctor community.
In the hectic, unpredictable, highly emotional “game” of adolescence, we feel confident, as parents, when our children are surrounded by a “coach” -- regardless of whether that individual is serving as an athletic coach, an advisor, a dorm parent, a teacher, or a director -- who we know will aptly call a timeout when they feel a shift in momentum in our children’s lives. It is this partnership between educators, parents, and students that not only allows us to do our best work at Proctor, but allows us to see the most remarkable growth in our students. Here’s to a great Winter Term ahead.
- Performing Arts