How do you diversify and strengthen social connections in your school, teach students valuable job skills, and help them to see faculty as real people instead of two-dimensional authority figures, all at the same time? The answer is deceptively easy at boarding schools. You do in-home meals.
Several times each year, we invite students into faculty and admin houses or apartments to cook, share, and clean up a meal. Employers frequently tell educators that students’ social skills, especially face-to-face interaction, have been weakening over time. The ability to gracefully join with other guests in a home atmosphere is not simply a nice-to-have knack; it is an essential career skill. Although the experience requires additional work for faculty, most teachers really enjoy the chance to show off their culinary talents and passion for food.
At Darrow’s in-home dinners, we mix up the faculty and students each time so that participants can meet as many new people as possible, forging new friendships and connections. The intersection of community, vocation, and education is a gratifying place to be in this day and age of drive-through, drive-by community and nutrition.
As Michael Pollan says, vote with your fork!