School Life

For boarding school students, and many teachers, the campus is home. Explore dormitory living, get expert advice on learning and living away from home and learn more about what can be done to help your child transition to and succeed in boarding school. Find resources for parents, teachers and students. We’ll cover sustainability, boarding school jargon, and corporal punishment. Read first-hand accounts from parents of boarding school students, find graduation gift ideas, and learn why small classes are effective.

View the most popular articles in School Life:

Want To Teach In A Boarding School?

Updated
|
Want To Teach In A Boarding School?
Teaching in a boarding school is the same as teaching in a public school, right? Not exactly. Some explanations here.
iStock Photo

If you went to a boarding school, you know what teaching in one is all about. It's a multi-faceted job with many unique benefits. So, for those of you who didn't go to a boarding school, here's what's involved?

 

First of all, teaching in a boarding school is not a 9-5 job. (Well, strictly speaking, 8-3, but let's not quibble.) So, if you are looking for a job that you can leave behind you at the end of the school day, teaching in a boarding school is probably not for you. You see, boarding school teachers teach. That is, after all, their primary function, but they also function as parents. A Latin phrase describes this concept succinctly: in loco parentis, i.e., in place of a parent. Because families have sent their children to a residential school away from home for weeks, even months, the school staff functions in place of the parents. Boarding school students are supervised 24/7, just like they are at home.

 

A boarding school teacher's duties

 

. . .read more

Wait A Year Before Going to College

Updated
|
Wait A Year Before Going to College
Taking a year off or staying in high school for another academic year is something that many more students are considering in this post-pandemic world. We offer some reasons why and look at your options following graduation.
Nito100/iStockPhotos

The pandemic has forced many students to reconsider their plans for going off to college. That's because of concerns about safety and COVID protocols on college campuses. The other factor is whether learning will be in person or online. After all, a college education is costly. So, spending a fortune on online classes does not sit well with most parents who usually pay those hefty college fees.

 

But I am already at a residential school. Isn't it the same as being at college? Since you are attending a boarding school, you understand the need for strict safety protocols. Vaccinations, temperature taking, hand washing, masking, and social distancing are norms you have become accustomed to while at school. Furthermore, everybody in the school community abides by those protocols or risks being asked to leave. However, your school is tiny compared with most colleges. Now, that's only one factor that makes attending college riskier than being at your small boarding school. 

 

The other consideration is that most college campuses tend to be open and insecure. Anybody can gain access whether or not they are authorized. Contrast that with your school's campus with

. . .read more

Endow A Faculty Position! Please!

Updated
|
Endow A Faculty Position! Please!
Thinking about making a major gift to your school? How about endowing a faculty chair? More here.
Credit: Jgroup on iStockPhotos

2020-2021 have been unusual, depressing years as we all coped with the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, notwithstanding all the gloom and doom, there was some good news in 2021. Several announcements of major gifts to private schools have lifted our spirits and given us, and the recipients, hope.

 

In October 2021, Berkshire School in Sheffield, Massachusetts, announced that an alumnus had left a bequest to endow three faculty chairs. Also in October, the Frederick Gunn School in Washington, Connecticut, reported that a current trustee and his wife had endowed a faculty chair. The munificence of these donors supports the stated mission of these schools. 

 

. . .read more

Things That Keep Me Awake At Night

Updated
|
Things That Keep Me Awake At Night
The pandemic has upended our lives in ways we never imagined. Heads of school also have been impacted as they try to plan for the future. Concerns about enrolment, community safety, and the school's finances are just a few of their worries.

2020 was a most unusual year. The coronavirus pandemic has turned everything upside down and inside out. Nothing is normal. All of this has impacted boarding schools in ways they never expected. While most private school boards of trustees are smart enough to have a resumption of business plans in place and adequate insurance coverage for the school plant and the usual liability issues, very few school trustees ever expected to be dealing with so many challenges converging at the same time. Against that backdrop, I thought it would be helpful to conduct a fictional interview with a head of school. After all, her concerns are probably yours as well.

 

Rob: What challenges at school in the fall of the next academic year keep you awake at night?

 

Head of school: Oh, Rob! Where do I begin? There are so many things demanding my attention. My workday starts at 6 a.m. and ends at 10 p.m. if I'm lucky. And I work every day to keep my head above water.

 

. . .read more

COVID-19: A Head Of School's Worst Nightmares

Updated
|
COVID-19: A Head Of School's Worst Nightmares
This is a fictional interview with the head of a boarding school. After all, her concerns are probably yours as well.

2020 has turned out to be a most unusual year. The coronavirus pandemic has turned everything upside down and inside out. Nothing is normal. All of this has impacted boarding schools in ways they never expected. While most private school boards of trustees are smart enough to have resumption of business plans in place and adequate insurance coverage for the school plant and the usual liability issues, very few school trustees ever expected to be dealing with so many challenges converging at the same time. Against that backdrop, I thought it would be useful to conduct a fictional interview with the head of a boarding school. After all, her concerns are probably yours as well.

 

Rob: What challenges at school in the fall of 2020 keep you awake at night?

 

Head of school: Oh, Rob! Where do I begin? There are so many things demanding my attention. My workday starts at 6 a.m. and ends at 10 p.m. if I'm lucky. And I work every day just to keep my head above water.

. . .read more

Recent Articles

Why Do a Gap or Post-Graduate (PG) Year?
Why Do a Gap or Post-Graduate (PG) Year?
Learn why more and more students are choosing to do a gap or post graduate (PG) year at boarding school.
Want To Teach In A Boarding School?
May 05, 2022
Want To Teach In A Boarding School?
Teaching in a boarding school is the same as teaching in a public school, right? Not exactly. Some explanations here.
Are You Looking At The Wrong Schools?
May 01, 2022
Are You Looking At The Wrong Schools?
By "wrong schools", I mean schools that don't fit your needs and requirements. Finding the "right school' implies that the school meets 99% of what you require. More here.

Featured Schools

Featured Schools

School Life

FOR STUDENTS
Here you’ll gain knowledge about student life at boarding school. User our glossary of terms to learn boarding school jargon, discover the importance of a partnership between school, parent and child, and find great gift ideas for the boarding school graduate.
What's It Like At Boarding School?
What's It Like At Boarding School?
The Boarding School Glossary
The Boarding School Glossary
Wait A Year Before Going to College
Wait A Year Before Going to College
FOR TEACHERS
The articles in this section are related to teaching at a boarding school. Learn more about what is being taught, why small class sizes work, and the impact of sustainability on boarding schools. You’ll find a list of eBooks about boarding schools, be able to view pictures of boarding school life, and explore course offerings.
Why Small Class Sizes Work
Why Small Class Sizes Work
Want To Teach In A Boarding School?
Want To Teach In A Boarding School?
A Survival Guide For Boarding School Teachers
A Survival Guide For Boarding School Teachers