Sunday, November 3, 2013

The efforts to preserve what we had is useful ... such a store of memories/knowledge might guide directors of other schools (Suggestions by John Vornle)

There are some procedures that appear on that might be useful for other schools.

You are invited to comment on the procedures.   In particular, this list is compiled in memory of John Vornle, who started the effort to catalog the procedures that were used at the boarding school that we attended.

These procedures might be useful for any school that aims to shape teenagers into "people of character."

The John Corlette Society has several goals:
a)    to spread the reading of JC’s 1973 speech
b)    to collect his writings and publish them widely in a variety of forms, including audio (like this audio CD)
c)     to identify four or five procedures that any school can implement, imbuing that school with the spirit of John Corlette
From the core guidelines of "delayed gratification" and "planned hardships," we can derive values and procedures:
1. What do we value? Learning to appreciate nature. Procedure: Reward the students with points for spending time in nature.
2. What do we value? Teenagers who know how to make conversation and see the good in each other. Procedure: Ask teachers to eat with the students, preferably lunch and dinner. 
3. What do we value? Time spent by teenagers thinking about big issues and important ideas. Procedure: A Thought for the Day. The entire school sits to listen to a short talk, usually given by a teacher, and then the group ponders the words for at least three minutes in silence.
4. What do we value? Time spent by teachers and other adults with students outside the classroom. Students can see their teachers following passions away from academics. Procedure: The teacher leads an activity, usually an extracurricular club (chess, fencing, cultural expedition, field trips, weekend trip to another city, hike in nature).  
5.  What do we value?   What a gift it would be to see ourselves as others see us.  Procedure:  A system to tell students what we see in them and underscore their moral evolution with awards.  Labels like “standard bearer” and “standard bearer candidate” communicate the level of responsibility that the student has achieved in the school community. 

Other points:
Water with every meal.  Brown bread.  Hot porridge for breakfast.

Table service.  Table cleaning.

Room inspection in the morning and the evening.

Mark reading in a public forum.  Grades that included marks for effort and results.

Wednesday house exchanges.

Regular team sports, not only with the best athletes, but you had to work with whoever was assigned to create a team an each team played the other house team competitively.

Packing all your belongings into a trunk and a suitcase at least twice a year.

Decorating a room and setting it up at least twice a year.

Rotating assignments and responsibilities for the daily duties of running a house/home.

Total responsibility for your personal well-being while climbing the mountains and camping.

Non-denominational, non-sectarian, religious Christian practice that also accepted non-reciprocal practicing Catholics, Muslims, and Jews.

Limited study time for homework.

Morning snacks.  Afternoon tea.

Constant roll calls by last name.

Pocket money and fines.

Breaking the rules without actually getting into trouble with the law.

Saturday dances.

Teacher/student counsel sessions reviewing attitude and citizenship of peers.

All effort that develops the mind and the body, the body requiring physical exercise, the mind requiring educational and spiritual nourishment.---practiced in an environment that required community cooperation.

Does this help?


Annual acceptance of a bunch of new students from different countries, cultures, and circumstance.

Acceptance of Girls into a male oriented school.


Hi Noel:
I had it easy, as I was first with a short sentence list.
I now remember the music listening restriction.  Yes. Good one.
I'm adding:

Leadership in the field (i.e on expeditions... thus there was leadership in academics, in the house (house duties), in the school (school monitors), in sports (house teams, sports teams), and in expeditions (always had a team leader).  All "leadership" rolls required different skills and attitudes.

Early wake up.

Lights out (at hours that allowed 8 hours sleep for the younger students...)

Physical punishment (laps)

Academic punishment (pensums)

Permission to drink (senior students, no?)

Annual testing on the school's mission statement.

Weekly letter writing.

Daily dress codes

Out-of-bound areas

Regards,  John

Keep a window open at night

Always wondered if this rule was intended to be an "all season" rule or only during the warm weather 



Absolutely correct!  I had completely forgotten about that rule, despite having been a lights out prefect for at least two terms.  I now remember how the window latches worked especially well for this objective.

It remains a great habit.

Regards,  John 

If you have other procedures that "work with teenagers," please send them to

VISIT THE WEBSITE that John Vornle supported

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