Student Opinions on Liberty Time and Advisory

Not many students enjoy going to Advisory and Liberty Time each week, why?



Underclassmen play a fun team building game during an Advisory.

For the past few years, Advisory and Liberty Time have been touchy subjects among students at Liberty. Some students love the extra work time, but others hate what they view as useless life lessons. So what’s the real point of these classes, and how can they be improved for the future?

“The goals of Advisory are to develop a set of academic, professional, social, and emotional skills so that all students, no matter what path they take, will have everything they need to be successful,” says Sakinah Ellickson, science teacher and one of the co-heads of National Honor Society (NHS).

Advisory was created to teach students skills that they can use throughout their lives. This year, teachers and NHS student advisors are working together to lead more in-depth lessons than Advisory has had in the past. Underclassmen work on things like communicating with their classmates and managing their time. While juniors and seniors get help preparing for whatever path they may choose after high school.

Ellickson and Jonna Hall, English teacher and the other co-head of NHS, explain, “Underclassman Advisories are all about academic success, belonging, Liberty culture, and social-emotional learning. Mainly, preparing for the world.”

There are five main goals of Advisory that the lessons focus on, the first being time management, which many underclassmen struggle with. Another is social awareness. Freshmen and sophomores have kicked off this year with games that help introduce them to the peers they’ll be surrounded with for the next few years. Having meaningful interactions with each other and gaining social empathy is the key to future academic success. 

Upperclassmen lessons have been focusing on responsible decision-making, specifically when deciding what to do post-high school. Teachers are encouraged to help older students choose the most suitable path for them. This includes providing a wide variety of information on different career choices and advising students on how to apply for colleges. 

 “Upperclassman Advisories are about post-secondary planning, whether that be college or career,” says Ellickson. 

Many students appreciate the help, finding it easier to keep up in their classes and plan for the future with the assistance of teachers. But many have a hard time finding the point in some of these lessons. 

The lessons don’t really apply to my life usually. I also feel like the lessons aren’t really taught, we kind of just flip through slideshows,” comments Anna Prieskorn, junior.

Jaime Soto, junior, adds, “Advisory on its own isn’t that bad, it’s just mostly the people in our classes who can make it uncomfortable.”

Liberty Time has also been under some scrutiny lately after getting moved from the end of the day, to after 5th period this year. Last year many students used Liberty Time as an excuse to go home early. But now that the class is in the middle of the day, fewer students are able to do that.

Prieskorn says, “I liked having Liberty Time at the end of the day because usually I could just leave and go home early.”

It appears as though for students who need the extra time for school work, Liberty Time is an incredibly helpful resource. But for others, who choose not to utilize it or just simply don’t need to, sitting in Liberty Time can be extremely tedious.

“I think Liberty Time is a good time for people to get work done, especially since a lot of people don’t have time after school to do it,” comments Meghan Carlson, junior, “It’s also nice because clubs can meet with each other, and students can meet with teachers to get the support they need.”

No matter how students feel about them, Advisory and Liberty Time aren’t going away anytime soon. But they definitely can, and should, be improved to make sure students get the most they can out of each class. 

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