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10th Grade Advisory shouldn’t be mandatory

Sophomores+participate+in+a+combined-advisory+discussion+lead+by+Limor+Makhani+and+Lily+Hakimian.+Law+argues+that+discussions+like+these+shouldn%27t+be+mandatory%2C+and+that+more+of+the+program+should+be+run+by+the+sophomores+themselves.
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10th Grade Advisory shouldn’t be mandatory

Sophomores participate in a combined-advisory discussion lead by Limor Makhani and Lily Hakimian. Law argues that discussions like these shouldn't be mandatory, and that more of the program should be run by the sophomores themselves.

Sophomores participate in a combined-advisory discussion lead by Limor Makhani and Lily Hakimian. Law argues that discussions like these shouldn't be mandatory, and that more of the program should be run by the sophomores themselves.

Sophomores participate in a combined-advisory discussion lead by Limor Makhani and Lily Hakimian. Law argues that discussions like these shouldn't be mandatory, and that more of the program should be run by the sophomores themselves.

Sophomores participate in a combined-advisory discussion lead by Limor Makhani and Lily Hakimian. Law argues that discussions like these shouldn't be mandatory, and that more of the program should be run by the sophomores themselves.

Kirsten Law, Associate Editor

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For many upperclassmen at Great Neck North High, the Wednesday morning Advisory schedule provides a break that they look forward to — a time to get that extra half hour of sleep, a time to cram one last minute for that test or even a time to get that last bit of Deli caffeine into their systems.

In contrast, for the freshmen and sophomore classes, the Advisory schedule each week has a much less exciting purpose. The program, intended for lowerclassmen, includes a structured curriculum that aims to provide students with the support to navigate adolescence, a time of constant change.

As Mr. Neary, the guidance department chairperson and  co-founder of the program said, “The advisory program does a great job of bringing the school together. We’ve felt the more students that were involved in the program, the better.”

This year, however, a change to the 10th-grade advisory curriculum has been made since its implementation sixteen years ago.

“When it was first implemented, the idea was that it would be something different than the ninth grade program, more community service driven and action-oriented,” Neary said. “But over the course of the years, we felt that it had lost its way and became a little stale, so we employed a change this year.”

These changes included consolidating the program to being only open to one advisor and student leader per class and having the classes guided by the advisor rather than the student leader. 

Perhaps it is just growing pains, but the changes have done little to change the “stale” characteristics of the program, according to some.

“I feel like 10th-grade advisory is pretty pointless,” said Giselle Rodrigues, a sophomore in the program. “I think the administration brings up some good points but if they thought it was really important than they could just have an assembly. There’s no need to drag it out for a whole semester.”

Senior Peer leaders, Limor Makhani and Lily Hakimian, combined their sophomore-advisory groups attempt to lead a discussion on stereotypes, specifically those associated with the LGBTQ community, as a follow up of an advisory assembly.  According to Chloe Ebrahimazdeh, a sophomore present during the discussion, the two eventually decided to switch to a brief game of hangman, in order to stimulate class participation.

This lack of motivation and concern for the issues addressed in the program is not uncommon among the sophomores. The issue, however, be rooted at the very core of the program.

“Advisory,” by its nature, should have an element of choice. The word “advice” means “guidance or recommendations concerning prudent future action.”  Accordingly, the recipient should be allowed to consider the advice in making his own decision. Yet, Advisory has been made a mandatory program that students are forced to follow or face the consequences put in place by the administration.

As a result, the students who are in the program feel compelled to participate solely due to the fact that they are required to do so, not because they are genuinely interested.

While the class may need to be made mandatory to ensure optimal attendance, this need raises another concern — the ambiguous purpose of the program. If student’s don’t want to show up, what purpose does the program, and mandatory attendance, serve?

“They’ve been drilling this material about not bullying and tolerance into our heads since we were five years old,” said Jonathan Hakimi, another sophomore in the program. “If you’re not already doing that, well chances are you aren’t going to change that just because you’re being told that every Wednesday morning.”

This reluctance to attend advisory is an indication that the program has lost its appeal to the current generation; the themes being taught have lost their purpose and, subsequently, have been dismissed.

“The main problem with advisory is that it doesn’t actually make an impression on people,” Molly Sherry, another sophomore said. “People take things like ‘microaggressions’ and ‘toxic relationships’ and turn them into jokes. We should instead have more assemblies like with Mr. Glenz and his personal experience. That actually meant something to people.”

Sophomores from Ms. Knacke’s advisory in the midst of a Wednesday morning session.

One potential solution is to implement more effective methods to appeal to the students, whether through meaningful assemblies or student proposals. In particular, engaging students in the planning of future meetings and providing a feedback mechanism would greatly enhance the students’ interest and experience.

It is also important to consider the bias that I, myself, am inclined to have. Being someone who is currently enrolled in the advisory program, the opinions I express may be influenced by my own involvement in the program. Yet, from my perspective, the program contains mundane material that does not warrant class participation.

Ultimately, the 10th Grade Advisory program has not be able to match what sophomores are looking for.

Perhaps a solution of making sophomore advisory more student-lead may be completely unrealistic, but its something for the administration to consider.

However, if no changes are made to the existing program, the program will remain in perpetual staleness.

About the Writer
Kirsten Law, Associate Editor

Kirsten is one of Guide Post’s associate editors. She is passionate about life sciences, drawing and creative writing. She enjoys listening to alternative...

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10th Grade Advisory shouldn’t be mandatory