So You Want to Work at a Boarding School

This started off as a rant against those who talk about how busy they are and turned into a here’s my week at a glance.  Life at a boarding school isn’t for everyone. It’s a demanding lifestyle, and I use the word lifestyle deliberately.   Technically, I’m on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week when students are present.   I live with the people with which I spend all day working.   I eat three meals a day with them.

It’s an incredibly rewarding place to live and work though.  That concert on Tuesday night?  Well, we got the boy dressed up in his pj’s and he and I went and listened to the music for an hour giving mom a much-needed break.  Where else to you get to bring your three-year old to hear music in his pj’s?

Life here is busy though, and you have to get involved and be engaged in the community.  Otherwise, why work at a boarding school?  There are day schools if you’re looking to shut things down at 5p.m. each night.

Here’s my typical week:

Sunday:
7p.m. Dorm duty starts.
11:00 p.m. Check in wraps up and I’m back in my apartment for a drink then off to bed.

Monday:
8 a.m. Chapel then a full work day until 4:30 p.m. unless I decided to duck off early at 3:30 to go out on a bike ride with the cycling club.
6:15 p.m. All school sit-down dinner.
7:15 p.m. Stop in a the arts performance and then off to a prep meeting for tomorrow night’s meeting.
8:30 p.m. back home in time to say good night to the boy.

Tuesday:
8:00 a.m. Chapel and then another full workday
7:15 p.m. Meeting with our fourth formers
9 p.m. Back home.  Missed bed time tonight.

Wednesday:
8:30 a.m. No Chapel today, but I do have a meeting to debrief last night’s meeting.  After that right into a full work day.
2:30 p.m. If there are home games, I’ll walk around campus and catch a few minutes of each.
7:15 p.m. Dorm duty and study hall.
11:00 p.m. Back home and ready to crash.

Thursday:
8:00 a.m. Chapel and then a full work day.
7:30 p.m. Dinner with alumni at some college within driving distance of campus.  This may turn into an overnight if I’m visiting a school more than 2 and a half hours away.
Midnight:  Hopefully I’m back home.

Friday:
8:00 a.m. Chapel then a full workday.  Maybe skipping out at 3:30 p.m. for a bike ride.
5:00 pm. Finally, a night off.  That is assuming none of my dorm residents need a ride to the grocery store or CVS or something like that.

Saturday:
I’m lucky in that I don’t have any official duties on Saturdays with the exception of two weekend duty nights a term.  You can usually catch me at the local playgrounds or games on campus as I try to spend as much time as possible with the boy.

With great demands come great rewards

Now there are times, especially at the beginning of the year and end, when my wife will complain that there needs to be a support group for spouses os faculty that work here.  There are indeed times when it gets claustrophobic and by the end of the year you are running on fumes.

The saving grace for me is that I pretty much live where I work, and I can bring the boy to things like arts performances, games and sit-down dinner.  Without that piece, forget it.  I came to a boarding school to raise a family in a unique environment, raise my kids in a communal and intellectual setting, and most importantly, be a part of their childhood.

The boarding school life has been all that so far, and as I suspected when I was visiting schools like this as and admission rep., it has been a wonderful place to raise (and grow) a family.

Happy Birthday!

Every time I see a birthday notice in my Facebook feed, I make sure to write them a little birthday note .  This is a 180 degree turn for me.  I used to ignore them, and even took sort of a Scrooge approach to it.  I have no idea why; I just did. I’m also at the age where I’m not longer psyched about birthdays.  They’re just one step closer to 40.

I decided to stop being a jerk and start doing this soon after my birthday this past year.  I usually get annoyed by those little red notices alerting you that someone has posted on your wall, but it rocks seeing a bazillion well wishes on your Facebook page on your birthday. I’m kind of on this whole, let’s be more positive and less critical kick as well (let me know if it’s working).  I now figure that if I can push those birthday well wishes from a bazillion to a bazillion-and-one, well, why not be part of the awesomeness.  If I’m Facebook friends with you, then we’re close enough that I can give you a little birthday love.

So if I’ve missed your birthday, (those helpful little notices don’t show up on the mobile) then here’s a happy belated birthday to you!