Advisory Can be Possible


Wilde Lake students pictured in the 1976 yearbook. Since Wilde Lake opened in 1971, the school has focused on community, which Advisory helped build. (Photo courtesy of “The Glass Hour” staff)

When Advisory was cut down to three days a week in November, I figured that would be the last of the changes to it. 

However, on Monday, March 20th, it was officially announced to the school that Advisory would be held only once a week on Wednesdays, with a few exceptions due to testing or other scheduled school events. 

Some students might be unaware of the history Advisory has at Wilde Lake. There has been an Advisory, in some form, since the opening of Wilde Lake in 1971. How many days a week we have an Advisory has fluctuated over the years. 

Every time Advisory has been cut, the problem has been similar: Students were being unruly, spending their Advisory time in the hallways. The same thing is happening now. We’re following a similar trajectory. 

I can’t help but resent the students who likely were the underlying cause of this decision. The students who refused to listen to the repeated requests to just go to their Advisory. Even when switching Advisories was made available, some students opted to turn it into a free for all. 

This begs the question of whether this was preventable. Though I valued the extra time I received, I don’t blame the administration for making this decision or the teachers who did not want the extra class. If staff has to spend an inordinate amount of time wrangling the wandering students, it’s not worth it. 

I know that we need a break during the day. In my first opinion about Advisory, “Advisory Falls Short of Vision,” that I published on November 18th, 2022, I defended the hallway wanderers. 

“There are always going to be those bad apples who would rather walk around the halls. But who can blame them? We sit all day hunched over computers and textbooks, cramming material into our brains. We go from periods one to three, a short lunch, and then to periods five to six. There is no real break during the school day.”

Looking back, I think I was too lenient. Yes, we need a break, but there are certain expectations we have to meet as students.

In “Advisory Falls Short of Vision,” I split the blame between students and teachers. I argued that one reason Advisory was failing was that some teachers understandably did not want the additional responsibility of an Advisory. Now, I’m looking at the students. 

Some people seem to not grasp that Wilde Lake offers things that most other schools don’t. But we can’t take these resources for granted. When we run around in the hallways, smoke in the bathroom, and disrespect our teachers, we are showing that we don’t understand the value of it. 

Looking ahead to next year, the future of Advisory is unclear. What is clear, proven repeatedly and again this year, is that everyone has to buy in for it to succeed.

But what Advisory advocates know is the good it can bring the school. Advisory can create community. Advisory can give students a much-needed break in the day. Advisory can be possible. 

This article was originally published in print in March 2023.