Advisory groups have caused widespread controversy in the school community. This is due to the unorganized format, lack of incentive, and poorly executed ideas. However, because they give students an escape from class, a time to rest, and a period for socializing, the advisories could be turned into something productive for the high school community. Giving students credits for attending, making teachers involved in the advisory curriculum, and creating a goal for each group will make the advisories into something meaningful.
Right now, students are skipping advisory, many teachers are not investing their time, and the advisory groups are making feeble progress towards any sort of goal. Though advisories had the potential of becoming a place for discussion and improving the school community, currently, the way they are set up is not working.
Currently, with NHS working towards restructuring advisories, the school has the opportunity to make them worthwhile. The Devils Advocate believes advisories have a strong potential to become something important at NHS, but require a few changes.
Advisories were brought to the school with an intention of giving students ½ credit each year if they attended every advisory. However, after speaking with guidance counselors and chair of advisory steering committee Ben Taglieri, it appears few, if any, students have earned these credits. If advisories are going to continue at NHS, students need to have a motivation to come to advisories. Next year, students should be given ½ credit for their attendance to each advisory. Also, students should be made aware of this change so they will have an incentive to attend.
Currently, another problem facing advisories is the lack of teacher involvement and enthusiasm. One way to fix this is by having teachers part of the process of creating the advisory curriculum. During teacher meetings, faculty should work together to create a baseline for how the advisories should work. This will give teachers and faculty a voice in how the 45 minutes is spent, and make them invested in how the advisories function.
Lastly, with the students and teachers now motivated to invest themselves in the advisories, there needs to be an end goal they are working towards. This does not mean some theoretical, wishy-washy statement, but rather a project the groups can try and accomplish. For example, if advisories worked on fundraising for classes, or improving the high school environment, or helping a charitable organization then everyone involved will have an attachment to the group.
Each group will also be working on a new goal for their advisory each time. This will keep advisories interesting, engaging, and meaningful. Also, if students and teachers begin working toward a goal, there will be more interactions resulting in lasting relationships. And, this was one of the reasons for advisories in the first place.