Building Strong Communities Through Advisory

Submitted by emariano on Wed, 10/02/2019 - 06:50
Building Strong Communities Through Advisory
Highlight from Ms. Srood’s Advisory Classroom meetings are a way to allow students to have their voice on things that matter to them and to build community. The skills that students can learn in such meetings allows them to acquire skills that are critical for every human being, but sadly, are so often overlooked in schools. Teaching students life skills, such as voicing opinions and sharing concerns, increases their confidence both professionally and in social situations. Along with voicing one’s opinion, self control and discipline are two other critical skills for students to help them build self esteem, handle difficult problems and to express themselves when in disagreement in an effective manner. Through class meetings with my 6th grade advisory, students have explored these topics and discussed strategies on how they can help others, while also being able to reflect on their own use and understanding of these skills. I believe in the importance of all students learning such skills. The class meeting can address procedural matters that impact students, address class wide problems or concerns, or just be an opportunity for students to engage in an enjoyable activity. Students feel the class meetings provide them with a sense of freedom to express their thoughts and opinions openly to others but within the structure of a community meeting setting. Our first class meeting started with asking students why it is important to be in control of our actions and in what we express to others. Expressing how we feel through times of change has been important for grade 6 as they transition from elementary and enter a new stage of their schooling. Students were also given the opportunity to think deeper and tell about a time when they remember themselves at a time when they were challenged with how to act or what to say. We shared examples and linked this to our actions always have consequences. Finally, we reflected on how these experiences, and what we learnt from them, can be used to help us now, in 6th Grade, as we work to build our community of learning for the year ahead. It was clear from the enthusiasm students showed during our first meeting that they enjoyed sharing their thoughts, ideas, experience and would welcome the opportunity to keep exploring these ideas and having more class meetings.
Posted By
Srood Almoofti