By James Casper ’23
It is officially the 2021 school year, and that means a new schedule for the Saint Ignatius student body. This new schedule has many different aspects to it, one of these being the advisory period. The advisory periods are small twenty-minute sections of the students’ schedule that occur two out of the five school days. But what are advisory periods used for and are they even beneficial to the students’ learning process?
While some students at Saint Ignatius dislike the advisory period and may not see the value, it might actually have more pros than cons. One of these pros is that it can provide the students with structured academic, social-emotional, and future planning support (GreatSchools Staff). Advisory periods are another great way to enhance the students’ support group. They can be used as a secondary tool when the student’s counselor is preoccupied or unavailable to help them at that time.
Another key aspect that advisories provide is direct teacher-student relationships. This relationship that the advisory teachers form with their students is critical for their growth and development as young adults. The advisors can often help the students find who they are and what they are meant to do. “The questions [advisory] helps students answer ‘What are my interests, what does the world need, and where do those two areas meet?’ are more important than any class you could take” (Vander Ark). To put it into Ignatian words, “The purpose of our education is to give a young man the tools whereby he can answer the question: What does God want from me” (Rev. Robert J. Welsh, S.J. ’54)? The Ignatian education is ever-changing, so the students must always be ready to answer that question.
Advisories were made to form closer student-teacher relationships and build the students’ support group, but there are many smaller, more important aspects that advisories can provide. These aspects are:
- Meeting new friends and forging new relationships
- Building new skills
- Forming a diverse culture within the advisory and the school
- Demonstrating the unity and brotherhood that the community shares
- Keeping you up to date with the school news
- Can set students up for future success (Vander Ark)
So, next time you see your advisor or are in your advisory, thank them and remember that advisory is not just a waste of time, but rather a time for you, as an individual, to grow and discover what God wants from you.