Guest Post via @readersleadpd: Creating a Culture of Connectedness through High School Advisory

Adolescence is fundamentally about the process of identity formation and individualism. The time in life to start asking the question: What do I want to do with my one wild and precious life?

Teachers reflect at the end of the school day and even on into weekends. This past Thursday, a colleague and I were listening, reflecting and laughing about a recent education podcast.  The podcast titled, “Grumpy Old Teachers” by @jonsamelson and @scotteach Click Here, listen and share!  (please leave a comment, these guys need a sponsor).  We concluded, after listening, “High school advisory could be like these guys” this small reflection, force us to ponder how could we shape the culture of connectedness to our assigned advisory students.
The story is just beginning…

Teachers are academic researchers, I had written in my lesson plan book. I had plenty of obstacles, most important, a vision. I observed and listened closely at the student population during advisory period:

  • Students requesting to come for advisory.
  • Requests made by students for tutoring/credit recovery.
  • What station activity students gravitated towards.

Next, I observed. I observed students that created their own tutoring stations.  One station was reading guitar music. This eventually lead to peers introducing new peers to each other and myself.   Another station was creating coding path for their ollie, (rolling robot),  Focusing on the two stations, there was clear evidence of differentiating advisory curricula.  The students were promoting their own learning styles.  Students openly shared with me and anyone that walked unannounced what “supplies” were needed in their station.   The culture of connectedness allows students to discover their “why” and then start to experiment with their “what.” Advisory is the best place already baked into the school schedule to start asking the “big questions.” Introducing students to these questions in high school is some of the best education and guidance we can provide them.  We are taking small steps and moving from Youtube channels to aspiring podcasters.

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