Core Elements of our Advisory Program
Advisory Mission Statement
Advisory programs should further define themselves by having their own mission statements. Our current Advisory Mission statement is:
The advisory program at Mizzentop Day School provides a secure environment where each student is valued and respected. The program helps develop problem-solving skills and values (such as respect, kindness, responsibility and confidence) that will last a lifetime. Children will also be engaged in activities in local areas that will build an awareness of the people, the programs and communities that surround us.
Application of Mizzentop’s Mission to our Advisory Program: Early Childhood through Grade 8
While our formal advisory program is set up to have advisors/advisees in Grades 5-8 and not in Pre-K and Lower School, we must include our younger population. We have had some success with this in the past by providing opportunities for our younger and older students to “buddy-up” during scheduled advisory periods on Tuesday and Thursday or specially scheduled times. Reading buddies, Living Values-based projects and community service projects are some examples of this. A buddy system is dependent on several factors, including an activity/project that is both developmentally appropriate for younger students and stimulating/satisfying for older students and dedication through regularly scheduled meeting times.
Dedication to Instilling Living Values
Our twelve Living Values: Cooperation, Freedom, Happiness, Honesty, Humility, Love, Peace, Respect, Responsibility, Simplicity, Tolerance/Acceptance, Unity
These values are essential. We should not just teach them but live them. We, as consistent models, are much more effective than a book describing what tolerance is. But sometimes serving as a model is not enough with children, particularly early adolescents who begin to test boundaries. Other times, children come from differently structured environments that can challenge the system of values adopted. Because of this, children need instruction as well as modeling. This does not mean one should approach the topic of peace by reading the definition, citing historical examples from a text then play a Peter, Paul and Mary song. Lessons should be meaningful to the students, gained through active learning.
A Life-Long Love of Learning
Knowledge is absorbed and gained all around us – in the classroom, at recess, during play rehearsal, at lunch, during community service projects -- although the bulk of formal instruction takes place in the classroom. Every moment, in some way, is a learning opportunity. Our students – and sometimes we, as adults – do not always see the value of these moments. It is our duty, as educators, to promote a love of learning in our students that extends beyond the classroom walls and transcends the years of middle school.