What do BHS students REALLY think about Advisory?

Survey shows majority of students do not find Advisory worthwhile, but many have suggestions for improving it

“Advisory is just awkward.”

Many seem to agree with that sentiment. Fifty-four percent of 50 randomly-selected students who took a survey have found in-person advisory was not a worthwhile use of time.

Two years ago, BHS replaced AAA, a type of study hall for high school students, with a new program called ‘Advisory’. Advisory is designed to be a team and community-building class with other students in the same grade. The school provides advisory teachers with lessons/activities that are meant to improve their students’ mental health and relationship with their peers. The school administration had good intentions when they designed this program, however, some students feel that the class was poorly executed.

“The kids don’t like [Advisory], and neither do the teachers. The students don’t like it because we can’t be working on our homework/assignments during it, and instead, have to do weird activities together,” said a BHS student who took the survey.

“The curriculum is weird,” said another.

Many students don’t feel comfortable with the curriculum as it required them to talk about personal things that they might not be comfortable sharing with a group. Another common reason students gave for not enjoying Advisory’s curriculum is because of the arguably strange activities that students have to do in class.

“I think advisory needs to feel more our age instead of feeling and doing activities we did as a child,” said an anonymous BHS student.

An example of one of these activities was a ‘game’ played last school year where one student was blindfolded and told that they had to try to make their way out of a maze that their peers would make for them. Secretly, the other students were told to make the maze impossible to escape, so that the only way to get out was to ask for help. This was meant to teach high schoolers that it is okay to ask for help. However, it turned into a student trapped in a “maze” and trying to escape while some of their peers laughed at them.

While half of the students who took our survey said that in-person advisory was not worthwhile, 84% of those same students felt that the Advisory class during Distance Learning 2.0 was not useful, and 62% admitted to not attending the Google Meet every Friday. Not only did students say they did not understand the expectations of DL Advisory, but some teachers seemed to neglect their Advisory class as well.

As stated earlier, Advisory is the school’s replacement for AAA. Junior Hailey Pageau said she strongly prefers AAA to Advisory.

“Oh, definitely AAA,” Pageau said. “I liked that you had more freedom and could work on your homework.”

The surveyed students agreed, some of them saying that they would like Advisory much more if students were allowed to work on homework.

Although Advisory is not currently satisfactory for most people involved, with some revising, students believe it could better serve its purpose.

“I believe there is room for improvement in Advisory. An example of this is how we are always told to keep track of our grades, but we are hardly ever given a chance to try to work on schoolwork during advisory,” said an anonymous student.

Based on our other responses, a majority of students agree. Some students say that the only reason they enjoy Advisory is when their teacher goes against the lesson plans and allows them to work on school assignments. Most BHS students agree that Advisory has room for improvement, but with a few adjustments, it could be a positive and useful experience at school.

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