OHA’s Student Affairs Director highlights the social and emotional learning that takes place in our dormitories.
One of the values of boarding school, and Oak Hill Academy in particular, is that we live together. Students don’t just attend class and go home; this is their home. When students leave the school building in the afternoon and return to their dorms, they are greeted by a Residential Life staff who provides structure, guidance, and mentoring.
There is a direct connection between what happens in the classroom and what happens outside the classroom. The Residential Life staff has the opportunity to support students as they grow through their formative years, and help them navigate all the daily interactions that occur organically as weshare a common space. Staff members living in the dorm with students are uniquely positioned to start conversations about issues teens are facing right now: time management, social media usage, bullying, decision-making, mental health, respect, conflict resolution, and much more.
One way this happens is through our weekly Residential Life Curriculum. The staff develops lessons on various pertinent life skills, and presents them at Monday evening “dorm meetings.” Students gather in small groups and discuss topics such as how to establish a positive online presence, resolving roommate conflicts, and teen brain development. This is an important aspect of our program, and a chance to underscore that learning doesn’t just happen at a desk in a classroom; it happens as we spend authentic, intentional time together.
Mr. Aaron Butt
Director of Student Affairs
Oak Hill Academy