Oakton Outlook

Advisory’s Purpose

Is it time to give advisory a second chance?

Clare Sparling, Staff Writer

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Advisory, a dreaded word for many at Oakton. As students we love to complain about the loss of cougar time and forced time spent with students that just so happen to have a last name that is alphabetically near ours. However, what if there was another side to this issue. A reason for this system that we as students simply do not understand. Ms. Hogan, Director of Student Services, has provided the inside scoop of why we really have advisory and its necessity.

Take a break. Make time for yourself.”

— Ms. Hogan

For all the complaints about how frequently we have advisory, compared to the past, we have it easy. Oakton students had advisory three times a week. Over time this has been cut down to the current system in place today. Additionally, advisory serves two vital purposes. To begin with, it allows students to receive all the important information directly: SR&R, fire drill procedures, the list goes on. By having a teacher directly explain to you the information, Oakton can ensure that all students actually receive and hear this information. If advisory did not exist, these messages would have to be sent out in the morning announcements, making it easily missed. Additionally, much controversy has surrounded this year’s implementation of advisory every Monday. However, Oakton student’s should take this as a blessing as the other option could potentially be a cancellation of Cougar Time. Despite the fact that many students take full advantage of Cougar Time, there are a significant number of students who do not. By forcing students to talk with their advisory teachers and make a plan for the week, administration hope that students will be utilize their cougar time effectively.

However, Ms. Hogan points out what she believes to be an even more important reason for Cougar Time. It helps students develop. “If you look at the number one thing that helps students succeed is having one staff member in the school that they relate to. Someone they can go to for advice if concerns or issues come up. If they have one staff member their chances for success are a lot greater. Advisory is put in place so that it’s someone that is not their teacher. It is just some that can advocate for them, check in on them, see how they are doing, and kind of create a family. That’s why you have 9-12 so the twelfth graders can kind of help out the ninth graders and the eleventh grader can also. When you’re lost as a freshman coming in is hard. Advisory is the place where you can get to know each other. That is why we have little activities and get to know each other… That way it is a way to help students feel more accepted in the school, they have an adult they can go to, and that is why your advisory teacher takes part in the capstone…” Additionally, it is meant to give students a break from the crazy schedules and busy lives we try to juggle. “It is that time out once a week, 45 minutes, take a break, get to know each other, just relax, it’s like that mandatory fun time…. Everyone needs that break, everyone needs that stress free time. That is going to do so much better for a student than having study study study all the time..”

When Ms. Hogan was asked if there was anything that she wanted the students to know she replied, “Take a break. Make time for yourself.” Her goal is to make advisory what is really is meant to be, a family. And she is open to your ideas. If your advisory teacher is not one to lead games or activities, Ms. Hogan challenges you to take charge, be the leader, and organize some fun. If you have any inspiration for competitions and games in or between advisories, she is all for it. Shoot her an email; she wants to hear the student’s ideas on what we can do to make advisory more engaging. Advisory is for us and can be controlled by us, maybe it is time to give it a second chance.



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Advisory’s Purpose