Advisories in need of a boost

“That advisory was so boring.”

I consistently hear this quote from at least three different people after every advisory period, complaining about how the last hour was a complete waste of their time.

But it doesn’t have to be a waste.  Advisory could be a useful time for students if it was spent in a more engaging and positive way.

I agree that, right now, many advisories are pointless and some of the activities carried out by the advisors are redundant.

For example, we watch the same PowerPoint about the school rules every year.

The rules are the same each year, completely obvious, and could be done in two slides.

No one listens and it eats up an hour of our school day.

This hour a month could be used to do many different beneficial things for our school or ourselves.

A simple solution would be to do the school rules PowerPoint on individual computers and end with a ten question quiz.

Students could skip to the quiz and take it, and if they got a question wrong they could go back to the PowerPoint and figure out the answer.

This way, students wouldn’t be watching slides on content that they already know.

Each advisory could brainstorm different ideas about what their particular advisory group thinks would be a useful way to spend their hour a month together.

One of my best advisory experiences I have had was when my advisory went outside and played kickball against our neighboring advisory.

Kickball was a nice, needed break in the middle of the day and when I came back in I felt refreshed and re-energized, rather than my normal groggy, post-lunch C period self.

Advisory could also be spent indoors playing games or doing interactive activities with or against other advisories, such as a trivia game.

We would have fun and relax during the one hour a month each advisory gets together instead of watching boring and poorly-constructed slideshows.

Some advisories do this already. They bring in food and have a small party every advisory period.

It is not reasonable to ask all advisors to do this, but the contrast between different advisories is massive.

Some have parties and socialize while others sit at desks doing nothing while the teacher gets some grading done.

One other solution to improve advisory would be to have an advisory planning committee made up of students.

This committee could meet two to three times a week during the school day alternating with a study hall, and receive credit for it.

Students are much better at planning activities for fellow students than adults are.

If our advisories were spent relaxing, learning, and playing new games, we would all have a chance to get to know our peers better and we would come back to the next period revived and ready to learn.