In our middle school, the advisory program is essential to all academic, emotional, and social learning. Each middle school student is assigned an advisor, who is one of his or her core teachers. Each advisor has between 6-10 students in their advisory. The group meets at the start of every school day to discuss the plans for the day, any special events, to share and talk about on-going issues, and to provide support for each other as they navigate middle school life.
Our advisors are in daily contact with their advisees' teachers and know how each child is performing in every class, as well as their own. The team structure provides the framework for easy communication. An advisor can be, simultaneously, a teacher, disciplinarian, partner, advocate, organizer, cheerleader, and supervisor. As advocates, middle school advisors support each student’s organizational growth, and champion any learning style needs or concerns. Advisors also represent the first line of communication between the school and the parents. While we work with middle school students to develop self-advocacy skills, we are aware that these skills are developing and work closely with students, faculty and parents to teach students the most efficient and effective ways to find academic, emotional or organizational support. Healthy and open communication between advisors and parents creates a parent-school partnership which provides the best environment for the student.
Since the middle school years can be daunting, full of tumultuous growth, and at times chaotic for both students and parents of middle school children, our middle school advisors pride themselves on taking and active role in developing resiliency, organizational skills, and social awareness.
What do middle school students say about their Advisors?
“I really like the advisory system because, when you get matched with an advisor who is really right for you, they can be a huge help. It is really nice to have someone who can help you with your troubles or just be someone whose primary role isn't necessarily teaching you. Advisory is also a great way to connect with other people in your grade or surrounding grades whom you might not get to know otherwise. I hope that incoming families would know that advisors will be a great resource for students, if people reach out and connect with their advisor. Past advisors have described themselves as "attorneys" or "lawyers" for me. I think that the advisory system is really great! “
“In middle school, I really liked my advisors. I had good connections with all of them and I felt that they were people who I was comfortable with to come to when I needed help or had a complaint. If I had to tell one thing to an incoming middle school family, it would be that it was nice to have an outlet all 3 years of middle school to discuss both school and non school issues. “
“My middle school advisors helped me reach out to other teachers if I was having problems, and every one of my advisors I had in middle school helped me integrate smoothly into the new school year.”
“My advisor helped me with self- advocacy and going to talk to teachers when things go wrong. He also helped with strategies for managing work.”
“I thought that whenever I had a personal or school related problem I was comfortable going up to them knowing that they would do their best to help me.”
“USE THEM. The most helpful people in the Middle School is your advisor. You can ask them personal or school related questions. They will always be willing to help you throughout your three years and they will always do the best things for you.”
“I felt that I could no matter what the issue I could bring it up to them and they would do whatever they could to help me whether related to life at home or if I were struggling in a class at school.”
“You don't forget your advisor after you move on, and it's an important part of the school year and each morning, it gives the kids something to look forward to.”
“This relationship with my advisor gave me an adult that I knew I could trust and talk to, and that was definitely positive.”
“I loved having [my advisor] so much. I automatically made a connection with her, and I knew that I would always be able to talk to her, even after that year was done. She was free to talk to me whenever I needed, about anything at all. The best thing is that it wasn't just for her advisees, but for anyone and everyone. I still talk to her now, when I can. I'll always have that connection with her, and I really cherish that for a long time.”
“For new families, I would tell them that your advisor and advisory can be a source of safety and happiness. Just take that step to make the connection."