Boarding School Dorm Life (page 3)
During the academic year, boarding schools become extended families where teachers and students live and learn together. The 24-hour community of a boarding school environment allows the faculty to seize every teachable moment whether in the classroom, on the playing field, the dining room table, or in the dormitory.
Some students and teachers explain:
"This winter, when we were studying for exams and it was 20 degrees outside, Coach Lewis roared out into the hall, 'hot soup!' The whole dorm headed down to his apartment and that really helped to revitalize everyone."
"Señor Rocca has his Spanish dinner table every Thursday and we have to speak in Spanish the whole time. It gets confusing when I have to say, 'Please pass the french fries' or 'I would like some more chinese noodles,' and I have to say it in Spanish."
"Every week we have "Dawson's Creek Night" at our apartment. A couple of the other women teachers and I fix a bunch of popcorn, order pizza, and prepare for the onslaught of twenty teenage girls. Can you imagine?!"
"I'm a faculty advisor with nine student advisees. These students know my door is always open to them whether they need help with their homework, a personal problem, or just want to watch Sunday afternoon football on the T.V."
The boarding school experience is singular and dynamic. It refuses to limit learning to the classroom or the conventional academic day. Sharing a boarding school campus twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week with friends, teachers, coaches and mentors is the difference. Students learn that diversity is the cornerstone of community and that every person has a valuable contribution to make. Outside the classroom, boarding school students learn about themselves by trying new things and taking risks. Our schools offer hundreds of afternoon and weekend activities that teach students important lessons. For instance, you could:
- learn to fly an airplane
- be a disk jockey on the campus radio station
- cross-country ski to your next class
- be a runner on the New York Stock Exchange
- have someone from Canton, China as your best friend
Boarding school students acquire skills that help prepare them for success beyond the classroom. They are encouraged to be active participants in life.
The boarding school community today is a mosaic of faces and places. Teachers and students bring with them diverse ethnic, racial, socioeconomic, and cultural perspectives and share them in academic and social settings. Boarding schools not only value such vibrant communities but also actively seek to create them. A person's individual traits, interests, and heritage are considered valuable assets that enhance and strengthen the overall community. Some interesting facts gathered by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) show that:
- Over 16,600 students of color attended boarding schools during the 1998-99 school year.
- Boarding and boarding-day schools show the largest percentage of students of color among NAIS schools.
- Boarding schools have the highest percentage of teachers of color within NAIS schools.
- Over 4,600 international students attended boarding schools during the 1998-99 school year.
"I'm discovering my strengths, my weaknesses, my likes and dislikes, my goals and my inspirations. There's not a day that goes by when I'm not challenged."
This article was reprinted with permission from The Association of Boarding Schools
© 2004 The Association of Boarding Schools, All Rights Reserved
Reprinted with the permission of the Association of Boarding Schools. © 2004 The Association of Boarding Schools, All Rights Reserved.
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