In the moments when students need to talk through academic, personal or social matters, or college plans and career questions, the faculty members are ready to help. Most students find a particular faculty member with whom they feel comfortable and to whom they can turn in confidence. In addition to these informal relationships, a formal advising system exists.
The formal advising system does not impede or hope to preclude the spontaneous relationships between students and teachers, but guarantees one such relationship for each student. Many students continue with the same advisor for several years; others enjoy the opportunity to change from year to year. Either way, Derryfield regards the contact between advisor and advisee as very important to students' academic, extracurricular and social success.
Each advisor meets with his or her advisee group three times weekly, on Tuesday and Friday mornings, and for a longer period of time each Wednesday. Through these meetings and periodic one-on-one discussions, the advisor follows each advisee's academic, social and extracurricular progress. Advisors suggest practical tactics and strategies for improvement in study habits, organization, relationships with teachers, and other academic concerns.
The role of the advisor is principally as an advocate, supporter, and personal faculty liaison to the student. The typical relationship between parents and advisors consists, in situations of satisfactory academic progress by the advisee, of only occasional communication initiated by the advisor.
One of the best aspects of Derryfield, in my opinion, is the fact that students have the opportunity to forge meaningful relationships with teachers.
H-E-L-P at Derryfield isn't a dirty four-letter word. Students who want to succeed must at some time see the teacher. Sometimes it seems that the more you see a teacher, the better you do.
After class, I walked up to my teacher and we got involved in a deep conversation about Einstein… I felt overjoyed that he would take that much time out of his day to help me succeed in his class to the best of my potential. The act of making a connection with students and helping them individually is an important aspect of a great school.
The teachers at Derryfield constantly push you to bring out your opinions and explanations beyond the surface level.