Monday, September 7, 2009

To Advise or Not To Advise

To my surprise, at Northbridge it is neither required nor requested that each teacher take on students for advising and/or write recommendations for these students. Instead, students can come to us for extra help or advising on what course they should take after ours; and they can ask us individually to write them letters of recommendation.

After hearing many of the stories from K. and from reading a lot of the descriptions and summaries on school districts' websites throughout the past year, I was under the impression that I would be required, much like a college professor, to make myself available to students for advising and/or would be required to assist certain students in deciding on their college choices or what path they should pursue post high school.

Yet somehow I have found myself in the position of an adviser already.

Several drama students--y'know, the kids whose passions are acting, improvisation, art, and escaping the athletic obsessions of a sports-minded town. I feel like I could have been counted among their league when I was in school, though I treated writing, sports, and music equally in my life. But their passion was unmistakable and their desire to get me moving and deciding on what play to produce has sort of inspired me to do just that.

Maybe it was the suggestion of Alice In Wonderland, having performed that myself while in high school, or the thought of reconnecting with my dramatic roots, or maybe it was just the feeling of appreciation and acceptance I would feel from and among the Northbridge community that is really driving my desire to become the drama adviser. Whatever it was, it looks like Alice In Wonderland is heading down an unstoppable track already--and I'm only beginning day four tomorrow!

It's a rampant question in interviews: what else are you willing to do besides teach? With school comprising only a certain percentage of students' lives, they are impressionable and full of free time outside of school, so why not try to attract them with after school clubs and activities? To advise or not to advise, I suppose that's the contract year question. I said I definitely would, and still believe I would even if it meant a large commitment of hours and time otherwise relegated to my Master's work.

I have an informal meeting scheduled with the aforementioned three students tomorrow after school to discuss what we are going to do moving forward. I need to speak to the administration, of course, regarding all the possible conflicts I could run into. But this could be an extremely exciting endeavor, especially for my first year. And since I just overloaded my sentence with alliteration, I'll call it a blog night.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, advising... one must always consider the STIPEND.... nothing is for free, Laddie. Make sure the pay is adequate for the time, and consider the time involved, you have impending nuptials, after all.

    Connery Out.