Advisory 2017

Guadalupe Roman, Submission Editor

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Advisory has been an hour and a half of study hall for the past four years. This being the time where students at Rangel ask teachers for help on homework, make-up tests, work on group projects, and meet with club sponsors as needed. Though it was an organized chaos, it worked for teachers and students. This year, Advisory has become structured with lessons and work, instead of lightening the load of work to take home for students and teachers. Advisory should be less structured and give teachers and students the opportunity to relieve their workload during school hours.

The main reason Advisory should destructure is that we need the time to study. Advisory 2017 has set aside one day a month to have tutoring sessions, and although that was very considerate, it is not enough. The schedule does not consider the daily help students need with their homework. Although it is easy to say that students can look for help outside of school hours, many students get to school late because of bus issues and cannot stay after school because they have jobs to go to, extracurricular activities to attend, and volunteer hours they must fulfill.

The tutoring sessions have not been a total bust. They have helped to the extent that students receive the much-needed extra help right before a six weeks test. The negative, which outweighs the positive, is that we do not have scheduled daily help that we truly need. A teacher commented, “there is some structure and it has some meanings behind it … one of the cons would be, you guys are losing the study or free time that could be beneficial if you use it wisely.” When asked if the teacher believed that the tutoring embedded in the curriculum was enough, s/he stated, “they are looking for tutoring times … and the seniors usually dominate the room and the sophomores just leave [during morning tutoring]. …If [tutoring] was an option [during Advisory], that would be very beneficial.” Students need a review/study session rather than a cram session right before the final exam so that the knowledge can build up rather than be bulldozed into our brains.

The second reason Advisory should destructure is that the curriculum created for our advisories seems extremely redundant. By ninth grade, most Rangel girls have already attended the school for at least two years, 97% of us have already learned how to take down notes, and what organizational methods work best for us. “I agree that there should be stuff on how to organize life etc. but that should be reserved for middle school which is where students have to cope more,” said Amy Phan, a senior. “However, for high school, I think that … if there is a curriculum… should only take up one-fourth of the advisory time and the rest should be for study hall, which a lot of students need.” Creating a curriculum that is better suited for our grade level, and still giving us time to work on our homework, would be the ideal situation. The curriculum is making us do several programs we would not otherwise want to do, one student said, “They’re making us do Everfi, like do they really care about software because I don’t.” Software-based learning situations should not be something that is being forced on students. Students should have the option of doing these activities and not make it a requirement for the class. Although these software-based curriculums are interesting to some students, they should be optional and not prerequisites.

Although the Advisory restructure for 2017 has caused the planners to put in more than 40 hours of work, Ms. Hamilton says she prefers the structure of advisory the way it is now because students are not running around the halls, nor are they simply watching Netflix. She also understands that some students did use the time efficiently in past years but, “Posey’s principles is that we would have time built into the day to work on civic engagement and work on being good citizens. I don’t think he ever intended on advisory to be … an hour and a half of free time.” said Ms. Hamilton.

Ms. Hamilton also states how she and Ms. Martinez are both taking into consideration any suggestions and feedback on how to improve the efficiency of Advisory.

“I want people to remember this is an ongoing…. We, you know, hear things, and we’re listening and we are taking feedback and so I want you to know we are hearing you.”

From what the planners have said, it must be taken into consideration that no matter how much we try to convince those who generate the curriculum for Advisory 2017 that EVERYONE is going to do their homework and value our time with doing homework, there is always going to be some people who ruin the time for everyone else. Now that we have lost that hour and a half for what some of us used as study hall, we are truly missing the time to really do homework. I also continue my argument that the new advisory is not a total bust, but that we shouldn’t spend all of Advisory time doing a set curriculum and we should have some built-in daily study hall for the daily homework we may not understand.

 

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Advisory 2017