Advisory has been a core part of our school since the beginning of its existence, a unique system that people find to be an attraction to come to our school. Everyone that is in or has been in the SLA community can agree that advisory is a core part of what makes SLA well… SLA. As we progress through our years as an SLA student we usually get to grow to have a dependant bond with our advisors. They become our parents at school for four years. They are the ones who hold our hands through high school up until we graduate. It is always focused on how students feel about this advisory system, and how well it helps them progress through the years.
Students mostly pay attention to what the advisors do during advisory time. Depending on who the teacher is, and their personality out of the classroom and inside the classroom can be a large effect on how advisories are ran. Some are more celebrative on different holidays and birthdays. For example, the Ames advisory especially has a tradition of giving a tasty cake to the student whose birthday falls on an advisory day. But other advisories sometimes lack in the department of having parties at all.
What students don’t think about is how it feels to be an advisor that has a family of twenty kids. What struggles they may go through trying to run a cohesive advisory and the bonds they form yet once graduation comes they are left to do this all over again with a different set of kids who have a different temperature.
So how do the advisors feel? Several SLA teachers weighed in on how their past advisory experiences impact them now.
Ms. Hernandez: The Rookie
She touched on the impact of not knowing how to run an advisory while being a rookie. Having advisory on an intense scale such as this isn’t really heard of at other schools. When talking to First Year Spanish Teacher Joselyn Hernandez, she mentioned advisory at her old school was only 10 minutes long in the beginning of school just to give out tranpasses or important documents. SLA was a different experience completely for her. This is something that is very common for teachers who taught at a different school, or even those who are teaching for the first time. But after hearing about this new system of advisory, and being thrown into a junior advisory at that, “I thought it would be interesting working with juniors and seeing the process of college planning and experiencing it first! Just to see what is expected of you.”
Ms. Pahomov: The Veteran
Reflecting on her first advisory, English Teacher Larissa Pahomov remembers everyone working to adapt to each other and the new environment at hand.
Typically your first advisory is freshman so everyone is new to the process. And because everyone is learning the culture of SLA for the first time, as she said “In some ways your first is the strongest bond.”
But now as a veteran advisor she has gained more knowledge on how to run an advisory in a more organized manner, to where she can help her kids she has to break in be on track and on progress for graduation. She is currently working with her third advisory group, taking over a junior advisory after Mr. Miles left SLA to move to Minnesota.
Ms. Hull: After Your First Children
“I was so upset I had to graduate these kids, and it upset me to the point where I couldn’t look at pictures of them and I wanted to be assimilated with my new kids.”
Ms.Hull had a struggle after graduating her first class due to the fact that she started the school with them, quite literally with that being SLA’s first graduating class. But after meeting her second advisory, while she still missed her first babies, she was able to adapt to her second advisory quickly after they got acquainted with each other. She later learned they would be her best behaved advisory.
So, Who’s The Favorite?
For the more veteran teachers, their first advisory will always be one closest to their hearts. Since everyone, advisor and advisees alike, were learning how SLA functions together for the first time and tackled the college process for the first time together. These “rookie” experiences allow everyone to bond together since everyone is new and adapting to SLA’s unique high school experience.