Behind the Scenes of a Brentwood Student: Expectations vs Reality

Sunday, October 30, 2022 - By: Novella R, Hope ‘25; Photo by Jim Ganley

Being a student at Brentwood requires managing a high level of expectations in all three pillars of the tripartite program - as well as the boarding house. Coming to Brentwood, students might not expect the heavy workload - or the supportive community. The teachers and staff always understand when students are away at sports or burnt out. I was not expecting the teachers to care about their students as much as they do. 

Some students and staff can say that Brentwood is beyond what they imagined: our community and environment are distinct. Anya P, Mack ‘24 observed, “I didn't expect the Brentwood spirit to be so intense. There is such pride to be a Brentonian.” Academically, Anya stated, “I didn’t expect to like my teachers this much, and I didn’t expect to be so busy and have almost no free time.” Despite our busy schedules, we are preparing for our future and developing beneficial skills to help us along the way. Time management and communication skills are learned from these practices.

Teachers and faculty have expectations for the students but understand that they may not be easy to follow. They expect the students to follow the school values of Respect, Responsibility, and Resilience, by being prepared for class, respectful to their peers, and working through busy times, despite the mountains of homework they may have. “The reality is that sometimes things come up that students struggle with - and might need exceptions. I think it is important for teachers and houseparents to understand the big picture when they are trying to navigate situations with students” explained Ms Jenna Warner, Alexandra Houseparent.

One thing in particular that we learn over time at Brentwood is how to take the knowledge we have learned and apply it to new projects. Anya recognized, “I feel challenged to think and apply my knowledge rather than just collecting information, which is like my school from last year.” We are expected to go more in-depth into academics, perform our best in sports, and be creative in the arts. Realistically, students are not always able to meet the teacher's expectations, but they show resilience and model “Grit and Joy.” Always working hard no matter the circumstances, Brentonians always see it through to the end.

Novella R, Hope ‘25

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