The pros and cons of advisement: waste of time or mindful connections?

As the third bell of Wednesday chimes, students shuffle to advisement instead of their usual schedule. Consisting of a planned curriculum, advisement strives to direct students toward mindful attitudes while also meeting the required curriculum set for schools to administer.

7 Mindsets is a curriculum that is designed to promote self-awareness, self management, social awareness, relationship building skills and responsible decision making. Every advisement, a lesson plan is assigned from the curriculum. 

“7 mindsets is something we just send out via email. We send out what is supposed to be covered and that is not necessarily something that we’ve chosen,” Peggy Johnson, counseling department, said 

These lesson plans can arrive in a variety of ways.

“We have to push information out to students, the bridge bill lessons, and Xello lessons. The state says we’re required to provide an advisement program for students, and that’s why 7 mindsets was delivered because it’s kind of a universal thing,” Johnson said. 

There is only one issue: advisement has become an avenue for skipping class for some students. Additionally, some teachers are critical of the advisement curriculum.

“I don’t think students value advisement or think they’re getting anything out of it either. I also think that we have not done a good job of developing any consequences for those kids that are skipping advisement,” Brandt Hacker, math department, said 

Alongside this frustration is a drive to help fix the issue. Laura Lee D’Huyvetter, art department, finds new ways to engage her students during advisement.

“I find it more valuable to check one-on-one with the students to see how they’re doing emotionally and how they’re doing with their grades,” D’Huyvetter said.

D’Huyvetter builds new activities along with the lesson assigned for advisement. Once, she had each of her students write down a word they personally thought represented them and read out each of the students’ answers individually. She feels that activities like these help her students feel heard and seen. 

“I’m trying to make those connections and I can tell whenever I do that they will feel seen, and I think that it’s important for kids and teachers to have relationships. So, I think that it can be a good starting ground for conversations and relationships,” D’Huyvetter said. 

Hacker thinks that scrapping the advisement period all together would be a much better use of people’s time. 

“We have advisement because there are certain things that are mandated by the state that every student has to do. It’s really just people jumping through hoops and nobody’s really getting anything out of it,” Hacker said.

Cynthia Hoover, math department, believes that having advisement as a homeroom would help to improve attendance. 

“I’d almost rather have it be a homeroom every day for 20 minutes at the beginning of the day. Let’s take attendance, you’ve got a little video for them to watch, watch the video we’ll have a short discussion, and do a little social emotional learning,” Hoover said.