W-hour frees time for students and staff

Advisory, or W-hour, has quickly become ingrained into the mindset of the student body. Implementation of the 28-minute frame has altered the dynamic of the average school day as the allotted time allows students to finish projects and work with instructors as well as participate in clubs, activities, and other enrichment opportunities. English teacher Brett Hartman sees the benefit of more efficient teacher/student collaboration.

“I think it is an awesome time to have it so that way we don’t have to waste class time, or [students] don’t have to come in after school,” he said. “When I need to use it, it’s good, and when I don’t need to use it, it’s fine as well.”  

Hartman also sees disadvantages that come from a lack of planning.

“I think it depends on its uses,” he said. “When I have people signing up without a specific reason, they don’t always get things done, but when I’ve had review sessions or conferences with students, those have been very helpful.”

While student and staff opinions feel mixed, business teacher Eric Unglaub loves the advisory period.

“It’s my favorite hour of the day. I enjoy it,” he said. “I’ve got a wonderful group of freshmen who are mature and engaged. I like being able to meet every week with ROCC and showing The Office; I’ve got kind of a pattern going.”

Not only do he and his students use this time as a way to catch up in their organizations and have their meetings, but Unglaub also feels the change in the schedule was needed in other classes as well.

“The announcements and the pledge interrupted class. Now, when the bell rings for this period [second period], boom, class can start,” he said.  

Junior Addison Barber agrees.

“I like it because then I can get caught up on homework, and not have to do it during an already really short lunchtime,” she said.

Junior Jenna Kiraly agrees with Hartman and Barber in regards to student efficiency being a byproduct of good planning.

“There are some days when I see people getting a lot done, but there are others where I sometimes see people doing nothing and it is kind of just a waste of time,”  she said.

Kiraly hopes that the program’s implementation continues to evolve  in the years to come.

“It has been really helpful when needing to meet with teachers,” she said. “I know a lot of people who it has helped with clubs so that way they are able to meet during those times instead of after school or in the morning. I really hope they do this next year, because I know for  myself and a lot of others it is very helpful.”

English teacher and former drama adviser Brian Phelps appreciates the goal and impetus behind advisory.

“I certainly would have appreciated this sort of time and opportunity to work with drama kids in the past,” he said. “Thurwatcher is one lucky fellow!”

Beyond coaching thespians, however, Phelps sees the importance of the program for  students of all shapes and sizes.

“This time has been invaluable as Scott and I have run revision and test prep opportunities for AP Lit. Those will be even more important as the May exam nears,” he said.

by Mikayla Heath


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