April (2014)
March (2014)
February (2014)
December (2013)
October (2013)
Maker Education
September (2013)
May (2013)
April (2013)
Field Study
March (2013)
February (2013)
January (2013)
December (2012)
November (2012)
October (2012)
Healthy Risk?
Lessons a Classroom Can't Teach
As we prepare for more than two hundred families to visit campus tomorrow for Spring Family Weekend, we turn our attention to the thirty members of the Proctor community that are not on campus this spring.

This blog has previously posted about the unique learning opportunities Proctor's off-campus programs provide our students. We have discussed the value of language immersion programs and have provided student testimonies to the transformational experiences of studying abroad. Today's post takes a slightly different approach.

This blog post popped on my Zite account last night and its title, "8 Things You Can't Learn in a Classroom" made me think about Proctor's off-campus programs and the experiences they provide our students. The author of the blog recounts a conversation with a neighbor preparing to leave for college during which the question, "What am I not learning in the classroom?" sparked the generation of the following eight qualities that cannot be taught in a classroom:
1. Unimagined, real world experience
2. True love and vulnerability
3. Actually staying positive when times are tough
4. Coping with betrayal
5. The reality of death and the beauty of life
6. Adjusting to life's ever-changing obstacles
7. Self-forgiveness after a big mistake
8. Maintaining a healthy balance

While it is our hope that every Proctor student learns these lessons beyond our classroom walls within our caring, supportive community, taking part in one of our off-campus programs ensures the acquisition of these lessons in an expedited fashion. 

Sometimes the stories we tell of our off-campus programs market them as life-changing experiences as you study alongside your best friends for the an entire term in an exotic location, making memories on a daily basis. Living, learning, and traveling with ten other students and two faculty members is no doubt an unforgettable experience, not because it is all sunshine and roses, but rather because of the real world challenges provided.

By studying off campus, you will have unimagined experiences that stretch you. You will have interactions with peers that test friendships, but ultimately strengthen them. You will feel vulnerable, while learning to find strength in your own abilities. You will learn to embrace flexible schedules and figure out how to balance your personal and educational commitments. You will learn to forgive those closest to you, while at the same time learning to trust those who just came into your world.

Ultimately, you will be stretched further than you think possible while navigating the most challenging, and rewarding experience of your Proctor career. Are you ready?

For a peak into this term's off campus programs via their respective blogs, visit the links below:
Proctor in Spain
European Art Classroom
Mountain Classroom
This image of Madison might elicit thoughts of pure fun in the sun on Mountain Classroom...
As would this sunset image of students traveling along Big Sur...
But what we don't often see in the amazing images sent back from our off-campus programs are the challenges students and teachers navigate while abroad.
This image of Allie asking for directions in Segovia may seem tranquil, but this can be a terrifying task for someone not confident in his or her Spanish speaking abilities.
The value in Proctor's off-campus programs lies not only in the sunny days and seamless experiences, but in learning to live with the unexpected, unplanned for and uncomfortable. Lessons that last a lifetime!