Opinion: Why Longer Advisories are Good

Miles Ellsworth, Journalist

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In a world increasingly dominated by social media, having a time during the school day for community building is more important than ever. The best way to achieve this is through ten-minute morning advisories. Having longer homeroom times has numerous social and academic benefits for teenage students. Some of these benefits include increased social interaction, community building, and teacher support.

One of the largest positives to having longer homerooms is an improvement in school and student community. Having longer homerooms allows time for student bonding activities which can help get students to interact with each other and build a positive atmosphere. Activities such as “Four on a Couch” are enjoyable, easy for staff to put together, lift the general mood of the classroom, and force students to be around other students. Activities like this are usually not played in any regular classes, and the best time to do them is during a lengthened advisory. In September of 2018, Easthampton High School had advisories participate in a ‘what grade knows EHS staff the best’ competition. Each advisory was given a set of random facts about staff in the building, and students had to work together to try to find out what facts belonged to who. Activities similar to this are great for several reasons. First, in order to win that activity, students had to work together as a team. Second, students got to know their teachers better through the activity, which helps students feel more comfortable with teachers and more connected with the staff of school. Lastly, in the activity, effective communication was key, helping students develop basic social skills needed in the real world. Longer advisories makes time for more activities and competitions to take place, and they build an effective school community.

Although social skills and community building are a large reason why longer advisories are important, they aren’t the only ones. Longer advisories help spread awareness about upcoming events, opportunities, and other important information. At EHS, a daily bulletin is posted up on the overhead in advisories every morning . From that bulletin, students can get times, dates, and general information for things such as sports sign ups, college tours, and major exams. Having a ten minute advisory not only allows for students to get that information, but it also lets them ask questions to their advisory teacher or other students. For example, if a fundraiser for the ninth grade class is coming up, a longer advisory allows time for students to get that information, receive the materials for the fundraisers, and ask any questions. Homeroom can also be a time for students to ask questions regarding college, final exams, or any other thought looming on a student’s mind. In an advisory, students can develop a special relationship with a teacher in the building that they can go to for any concerns that they may have. Longer homerooms allow time for important topics and information to be discussed that otherwise may not be resolved in any regular academic class.

In conclusion, longer advisories are crucial for schools to have if they wish to build a student community and develop student social skills. Long advisories also allow students to get to get relayed important information, and increase awareness regarding upcoming events. Finally, advisories let students develop a relationship with a special teacher in the school that they can go to for help.