What's the Point of Advisory?

Salman Jaffer Advisory is the flex block every 5 days when students can get excited for bagels, doughnuts and the extra time they get to finish their homework after a tiring and enduring long block. While Latin advisors would hope that those are not the only reasons why students appreciate advisory, they understand that it is an opportunity for students to relax and recover before the remainder of their busy day. While many 9th graders might have been accustomed to a certain homeroom or advisory system in middle school, Latin holds a unique system that fosters social growth for students and a strong student-teacher relationship. Freshmen are randomly selected to an advisory for their first year as they adapt to the new challenges of the upper school. At the end of freshman year, however, students receive a form to detail qualities they would want in an advisor as well as which peers they would like to be in an advisory with. The class dean then tries to accommodate to each student’s preferences, but also does what is best for the student individually. These advisories are kept from the start of sophomore year until the end of high school. In years past, the advisory system has transformed into a more casual concept. In prior years, the environment in advisory was more like a classroom, where the advisors had complete control over their students. Now, advisors and students interact in a more genuine during manner, and as junior advisor Mr. McArthur said “[have] meaningful conversations related to student life, such as stress and sleep.” Put simply, an advisor is always there when an advisee is in need. “An effective advisory is one where the advisor knows each of his/her advisees well,” explained senior dean and former advisor Ms. McCarthy. “An advisor cares for each student’s social and emotional well-being as well as their academic progress.”   How advisories spend their time really depends on the type of teacher and the group students. Activities usually range from eating food, engaging in group games, collaborating on work, and simply talking about life. When asked about his favorite part about advisory, Mr. McArthur put it best: “the goofy interactions we have every day. Laughing with and at each other’s stories.” During advisory, there is a comfort level between students and teachers unlike anywhere else at Latin. The advisory system is truly a privilege because it allows students and teachers to share memorable experiences that they will both remember long after parting ways at graduation.  ]]>