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Critical thinking skills are key for successful navigation of our world. Our 'Profile of a Proctor Graduate' highlights the need to graduate creative, collaborative, critical thinkers. In a busy world, especially at boarding school during the Winter Term, time is a precious commodity. In order to truly engage with the content they are learning, we must allow students time to reflect on that learning.

Reflecting on Critical Thinking

This post from filtered into my Zite account over the weekend (even though it was originally published last June) leading me to think critically about Proctor’s educational offerings and how we are preparing students to be critical thinkers themselves.

Many of the qualities in the diagram above created by Mentoring Minds overlap with the qualities of a Proctor graduate present in our mission statement. While content may be the foundation of what we teach, allowing time for the development of critical thinking skills is essential to molding the type of learners we desire to graduate; individuals who are creative, collaborative, adaptive and resilient in their education. 

However, one aspect of critical thinking skills we must continue to develop as a school revolves around providing the opportunity for students to reflect on their own learning. As we propel ourselves through the Winter Term, the busyness of daily life includes five academic periods, afternoon programming, extra help sessions, and extra curricular activities. We must not overshadow the need for students to self-reflect despite the constant demand on their time. Reflection can occur in many ways, through journaling, conversations, or simply taking a moment of peace and quiet without the distraction of omnipresent media. 

As I write this blog on the importance of reflection, I realize I am in need of self-reflection in my own life as well. Perhaps it is the pace of life at a boarding school while raising small children. Or maybe it is my innate desire for organization and a clear plan that hinders my own self-reflection, always looking to the next task rather than reflecting on the one I just completed. Regardless, I must improve this skill in order to set a positive example for students in my classes. Ironically, sometimes in order to move forward in life (and learning), we must allow ourselves to come to a stop and to think about where we've been.
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Located in  Andover, NH,  Proctor Academy is a private coeducational day and boarding school for grades 912. Students benefit from a rigorous academic program, experiential off-campus programs, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.
204 Main Street  .  PO Box 500  .  Andover, NH 03216
p. (603) 735-6000   f. (603) 735-6300