8th Grade Advisory Collaboration

8th Grade Advisory Collaboration
August 2021

Summary of workshop/opportunity
This summer grant provided me the opportunity to peacefully transition from my role as 6th grade lead advisor to 8th grade lead advisor. The bulk of this work included two days of discussion with out-going 8th grade lead advisor, Danielle Denton. In addition to our conversations, Danielle passed to me the files, notes, calendar, and resources that she maintained as part of her lead duties. Once I had access to these files and resources, I began to organize and design a preliminary calendar and list of advisory topics/issues for the new academic year.

What are 3 things I took away/learned?
I learned that the needs of our advisees, from an 11 to a 14 year old, can overlap despite the developmental differences that exist in this age bracket.
I learned that the 8th grade year can be dominated by the high school process. It is therefore paramount to put much focus on deescalating the anxiety that comes with high school applications and decisions.
I have also learned that a team that advises a grade level goes beyond the 4 advisees. We are fortunate in having a stellar group of professionals that include a learning specialist, a tech resource, a therapist, a high school counselor, an overall caretaker in the role of Upper School Director, and finally a highly qualified group of educators. It does indeed take a village to educate, encourage, and empower our charges.

What squared with my existing practice/beliefs?
Despite my 12 years as a 6th grade advisor, I am certain that my approach to my new class of older, perhaps more sophisticated advisees will be the same as the younger girls. Compassion and humor are good tools for any age group.

What is still circling around in my head?
I am excited for this opportunity and also curious as I move to lead a team of new people to Burke’s. This year, there will be two new faculty members and one 2 year veteran (after a year and a half of shelter in place and pandemic protocols). I am optimistic that it will be a great year of learning for all of us.

Would you recommend this workshop?
Yes. Any type of collaboration in a transition is always a good thing. The outgoing lead advisor was a well of information; taking on her files and resources will ensure a smooth transition. She has also graciously offered to check-in throughout the new academic year.

Interested in collaborating or do you have questions about 8th Grade Advisory Collaboration? Reach out to Anthony directly to begin a conversation!

PD ID# 200