Advisory and X-Block Not a Great Mix

Advisory and X-Block Not a Great Mix

Maria Velez , Discoverer Staff Writer

Has advisory affected the time you need for X-Block? Well, it has affected me and the time I have to finish my work. As a High-Performance Athlete, I miss a lot of school, meaning that I have to do a lot of work to catch up. For me and many other students, X-Block is the perfect time to compensate for a lot of missing work. Advisory has caused discomfort for high school students and teachers. It is a period of time that can be used for better things.

X-Block is one of the most crucial periods in school. However it is true that many students don’t use X-Block for the right purposes, for the students that do take advantage of this time, they need the whole hour to complete everything they have to get done. Advisory can be crucial sometimes, yet it shouldn’t be done during X-Block because it doesn’t serve the actual purposes advisory is made for, teachers are not well prepared to lead an advisory, and many people in the school think it takes a lot of time from X-Block. 

Students need the whole period of X-Block.

Many people might believe it doesn’t matter because it is just a short period of time, but in reality, advisory takes up a lot of valuable time. X-Block is a time made for students to recoup, finish work, or catch up if they are behind. It is certainly not fair to use up time for unneeded announcements and unprepared activities. Advisory takes plenty of time off from X-Block, where many students use the whole block to finish tests, some even divide the block in two, in order to complete two assignments. 

 The school dictates the teachers let the students leave only at the permitted hour, and students are forced to wait, while letting precious time go by doing nothing until the advisory is over. After doing a survey to some students from different years in which 95 people answered, 88% of the students claim they are in favor of changing the advisory/X-Block format. 95.5% agreed that on many occasions advisory has affected the time they need to use in X-Block, and 93% say that advisory is not more important than X-Block.

Many students argued that their AP classes were more important than sitting for 15 minutes doing nothing. Another person from the surveys said “In the first place, advisory should not even exist. It serves no purpose, the occasional activities being hosted during advisory don’t outweigh the importance of time management and having a gap of time to finish work. Furthermore, the announcements mentioned during the advisory can be addressed by students themselves.”

This is just another example that shows how students don’t know anything about advisory and its importance. If advisory is going to be done correctly, students need to learn its purposes, and it should have its own period of time so we can take it more seriously.

What purpose does advisory serve?

Our school does not implement advisory the way other schools around the world do. According to The Glossary of Education Reform, Advisory is a program in which a teacher reunites with a small group of students with the purpose of advising them on academic, social, and future planning. At TCS we meet with a small group of students and a teacher once a week, but only to receive important information that the school needs to present. 

It is important that students have opportunities to build closer relationships with their teachers. According to studies by American Psychological Association , students who developed strong relationships with their advisors performed better academically and socially. The transition between secondary and high school can be hard for many students, and creating relationships can be a burden for some students. Therefore, having an advisor can be very helpful for some students, since they can create a trusted connection with an adult. The main reasons why advisory is so prominent, are the study skills, academic support, character development, and social and emotional learning. 

Teachers need better training to make advisory effective. 

Teachers at TCS don’t have the proper preparation to be part of an advisory. There are no activities, and teachers don’t really know how to interact with the students to make us feel in a safe space. I’ve had many experiences in which we have nothing to do but I still have to wait until 11:05 am so I can leave for X-Block.

“We definitely need to prepare the teachers that are going to lead an advisory, even though many teachers do have the preparation, I personally feel like I don’t, and I wish I had these preparations so my students could trust me,” Sofia Arcila, Art Teacher, said.

According to TCS high school counselors, the school has an advisory so that students can have an adult figure to confide in, but it is not going as planned.

“I think there is a long way until we get to have a good advisory. In the past years, the purpose was to give important news about the school and that’s it. This year we want to make advisory more interactive, and we are working on finding more activities,” Laura Obeso, 11th Grade Counselor, said.

Advisory is highly important but it should be improved, by being separated from X-Block, and in order to be done correctly, teachers should have the proper preparation. 

All things considered, advisory has a real purpose but the school is not fulfilling it the proper way. X-Block and advisory are different things that need their own time. If the school thinks it’s important for students to have a “safe zone” with a teacher, then there should be a time apart from X-Block to do so. After learning highly valuable experience, advisory gives students very worthwhile skills. To conclude, the school should change the way they are arranging these two-equally important periods, enhance and create enthusiasm for advisory, and they should prepare the teachers to lead an advisory.