We need to explore an alternative to advisory

Kammie George, Reporter

Advisory, a relatively new “class” that Laguna Beach High School students have welcomed with open arms these past two years, has a lot of people asking questions. So, is advisory really beneficial? Are those sixteen minutes of twiddling thumbs really worth it? Are those extra ten minutes of school on block days really worth it? Is this class filled with bored students and teachers really worth it?

The original intent of the class was to meet the requirement for the amount of instructional minutes in the school year. Teachers and supervisors had meetings prior to the 2014-2015 school year to determine the purpose of advisory. The idea arose when teachers, administration, classified staff members and parents made a collective group decision to add this “instructional period” to the bell schedule. The committee anticipated teachers creating a lasting impact on students, motivating them to do better in school and assisting them with decisions regarding life after high school. It was also anticipated that students would develop a greater sense of P.R.I.D.E. characteristics through personal and school connectedness. While the intention was good, plans fell through, and unfortunately, this sixteen minute “instructional period” crashed and burned.

“I think advisory’s original intent was to give students a teacher to go to for various questions about school and other topics,” said sophomore Kyle Sharp. “In my opinion, advisory does not benefit me; it gives me sixteen minutes of relaxation, but I receive no academic help.”

Now I can’t speak for everyone, but there are some teachers who actually care about advisory. These teachers did their best to maximize the instructional period. I don’t know about any other teachers, but my advisor definitely takes the time each class period seriously and offers help to anyone who needs it, regardless of the subject. It’s nice to know that there are teachers out there who genuinely care about how you’re doing in school and life. Advisory has the potential to be a great class, but is it really worth the time trying to figure out how to make it function?

“I think it’s used for watching CNN and updating us on current events because every once in awhile my teacher will put on the news, but other than that, we really don’t do much,” said senior Gabrielle Beran. “But I do think advisory is worth it because it gives people time to study for the next class; however, the purpose that they’re trying to use advisory for is not working.”

While others cannot be as fortunate as I, some teachers just do not care about their advisory. Now, that seems harsh, but it is the truth. Some teachers just sit at their desks and allow their students to work on other class-work or be on their phones or computers. Don’t get me wrong, my advisor does this too, but not without checking in with the class first. A select few teachers on campus outwardly remind their advisory classes of how pointless they think the class is and that it would be better if the district added days to the school year instead of pointless minutes to the days. Teachers like this are honestly cheating their students because it benefits many kids if their advisors guide them through college decisions and important tests.

“In my opinion, advisory is used for watching Breaker Live and receiving important updates; however, I don’t think advisory is worth it because we hear all of this in the announcements every morning, and all the surveys given to us are unnecessary,” said senior Quenia Vasquez.

It’s hard to determine what the collective opinion is regarding advisory; although a majority of students think it is the most pointless class ever, there are a select few who actually benefit from the class and would like to see it stay. While I am not a part of these select few students, I can say that I do understand where they are coming from. It is nice to have a teacher on campus that you know will help you out with absolutely anything. On the other hand, the majority of students think that advisory is not necessary to acquire this sense of trust with a teacher. I think it is safe to say that any teacher would be willing to help any student regardless of advisory.

“Honestly, advisory is just a lounging period where students go to sleep and seem miserable. I think advisory is completely useless to everyone, including the teachers. Plus, it shortens lunch so everyone is cranky all day,” said junior Crystal Curras.

Circling back to the question “is advisory really worth it?” there is no right or wrong answer — it is simply a matter of opinion. Now, the committee can say what they want and add in all sorts of “studies” and “polls” to make it seem legitimate, but at the end of the day, everyone has their own separate opinions on the class. There is no definitive “yes, this is the right thing to do” or “no, this is a waste of my time” because everyone thinks differently. Now, as a student body, we can provide our opinions and say what we want to be done, but the decision is really up to the administration and teachers who determine what is going to benefit us. It was a great attempt by the committee to build something beneficial to the school days. However, next time they want to drastically change the bell schedule based on “usefulness,” wouldn’t it be nice if they considered our opinions about our own education? It might just be me, but it seems like teachers should consider things from our point of view more often than they do. The times have changed, and I think it’s about time students are allowed a voice in their education system.