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Academic Lens: What If...
The reality of the school year is creativity in the classroom too often gets pushed to the wayside as busy schedules and content demands accumulate. As an institution, we struggle with the same challenge as mid-year evolution becomes nearly impossible. Fortunately, the summer months provide an opportunity to recharge creatively and to think critically about how we teach. We are able to start with a largely clean slate and rethink how we deliver a Proctor education to our students.
As was clear during last week’s faculty/staff/trustee retreat, Proctor’s mission will never change. We will never seek to serve a different type of student, or change how we approach learning. We will always seek to move learners along on their individual educational journey. We will always graduate self-advocates who understand themselves as learners and employ teachers who value an experiential approach to education. Head of School Mike Henriques wrote to faculty and staff last week, “What I know about Proctor is our propensity to rise to all challenges, to adjust when necessary, but to never lose sight of core values and our mission as a school. We will embrace change while holding on to the constancy of our mission.”
This is where the value of a change of pace during the summer months is energizing; we have the opportunity to ask ‘what if’ questions and to think outside the box. What if Proctor launched new off-campus programs in the Middle East and Asia? What if Proctor created a farm classroom on our own 2500 acre campus? What if Proctor developed an Experiential Education Institute and was a national training center for secondary school experiential education? What if Proctor’s ninth grade curriculum included a capstone project similar to Senior Project? What if Proctor partnered with other organizations around the world to offer academic accreditation to experiential learning opportunities, as we currently do with the Ocean Classroom Foundation? What if Proctor’s approach to Health and Wellness became a model for other boarding schools as we continue to promote healthy living, sustainability, and physical activity to our students and faculty?
We encourage incoming students to have the same approach to their Proctor experience, to ask the ‘what if’ questions about their next four years: What if I go on Ocean Classroom? What if I try out for the play? What if I build a boat? What if I study in France?
The possibilities feel endless when you have the time to think about all the ‘what if’ scenarios that lie ahead, both as an institution and as individuals. We know that whatever evolutions Proctor embraces in the future, our foundation will remain firmly rooted to our past.
Share your ‘what if’ scenarios for Proctor in the comment feature below, we value your thoughts!
Located in Andover, NH, Proctor Academy is a private coeducational day and boarding school for grades 9–12. Students benefit from a rigorous academic program, experiential off-campus programs, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.