Advisory is a large part of middle school life. At the beginning of the year, Students are grouped together and told that for the rest of the year, that’s who they will spend every morning with. Each advisory has a different mix of students, and it allows them to bond with people that they otherwise might have never known. “I’ve gotten to know some people that I wouldn’t have known or who wouldn’t have known me,” explained eighth grader Houdah Daniels. Houdah enjoys advisory, and feels that it’s a key aspect of a successful middle school career.
Houdah believes that advisory gives students the opportunity to broaden their horizons and communicate outside of a select friend group. “People learn how to talk more… to people who aren’t their friends,” she explained. “We’re not always going to be working with people that we’re necessarily the best of friends with.” Houdah explained that being almost “forced” to get to know people that someone wouldn’t have outside of advisory is an important part of growing. She feels that it’s preparatory for life outside of ASL, where students won’t be working with the elite few they surround themselves with.
The relationship between the advisor and the student is something that Houdah feels is beneficial to students. “Having an advisor allows you to have someone to speak to,” said Houdah. She explained that students need an adult that they can come to if they’re having trouble in a class or with their grades. Houdah also believes that having an advisor as a teacher can help students academically. “(Having) a science teacher as an advisor is good… if you have clarifying questions.” She elaborated that because students spend time with their advisors each day, it gives them the opportunity to ask questions about assignments in a comfortable environment.
Houdah feels that having advisory is important for new students to acclimate to ASL. Being a new student in seventh grade, Houdah was able to experience firsthand how helpful advisory can be to a new student. “You don’t really know what to expect but you do know that every morning you’re going to be around the same people (and) get to know the same people for at least half an hour of your day.” She feels that advisory provides a constant in the changing life of a new student, and gives them a set group of students and a teacher as guides. “Having an advisory almost seemed like having something you can rely on,” she explained.
Houdah believes that not only advisory, but advisory activities help students to see their peers in a different light. “We talk about global issues so it gives us an insight on someone else’s life.” She explained how seeing the world through the eyes of others educates students in a different way than academic classes could. She also talked about the effect of going on advisory trips. “Our trip to Outward Bound, which was solely to bond with our advisory… was amazing because we got to see different sides of our advisees that we wouldn’t have seen otherwise.” By seeing her peers in a different setting, Houdah found a better understanding of the people in her advisory.
Advisory allows students to get to know each other and ease into the school day. Houdah summed up the experience of advisory as, “having half an hour to just bond or to talk or to clarify any questions. It’s just a good start, a relaxing start, to the day.”
Opinion as told to Dom Alberts, Scroll Editor