Advisory: Is it Beneficial?

James Sanderson, Sports Editor

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For 40 minutes between the first two blocks of school every Friday, students are participating in Advisory. Introduced to the school this year, its purpose is to “provide time for students and staff to develop stronger relationships in an environment that fosters respect, allows open communication, and provides scaffolded support for each individual student.”

The goal is to present informational videos, open the discussion so all students may have a place to talk to others, and perform activities created to strengthen the nurturing environment here at Stone Bridge.

The idea of Advisory is fantastic. Suicide and depression are a growing problem today, so the thought of improving the environment by sectioning off time during school in order to avoid serious issues such as depression reveals the importance of mental health to Stone Bridge. The Advisory team has done a wonderful job of creating a better school environment.

However, Advisory is brand new, so it is no surprise that there are a few issues with it this year.

Advisory activities are presented by the teachers of Stone Bridge and by PEER and SCA members to freshman classes. Teachers and student mentors are asked to serve as a “source of support,” and while that does seem useful, there are issues with asking individuals to have that much importance in students’ lives.

Also, each teacher has a different style of teaching, and some may not be as effective when covering such sensitive material.

An example of where a teacher has influenced how the activity is portrayed is when students were read statements describing actions and then asked to step inside the circle/raise their hand if they have ever performed these actions. For example, the statement would read “raise your hand if you have ever cyberbullied.”

In Advisory, it should be known that nobody is forced to participate, and someone may opt out of an activity if they feel uncomfortable. If a teacher does not make it known that participation is optional, especially in an activity like this, it might make students feel anxious and shameful of their actions. There are many better ways to get across the point that cyberbullying is unacceptable.

However, there have been multiple beneficial activities. For example, educating students about how important internet privacy is, especially with how technology has developed, is extremely important. All students need to be aware of the existing dangers when creating social media profiles and surfing the internet.

Also, the Advisory activities are created by teachers, student clubs (PEER and SCA for example), and the whole student body can contribute as well. This way, every single student has the ability to pitch their opinion on how to make Advisory activities more successful in achieving its’ purpose.

The admin team that runs Advisory is constantly asking for feedback as well. After every lesson, students can fill out a feedback form on google docs. This way, Advisory is constantly able to improve week by week.

Integrating Advisory into Stone Bridge was an incredible idea, but since this is the first year, some improvements do need to be made.

The Advisory team would greatly appreciate feedback. If you want to voice your input to the administration running advisory, scan the QR code below to fill out the first semester survey!