Teacher talking to a small group of students

What Impact Does Advisory Have on Teacher's Time? – Pt II

Monday, August 10, 2015

What Are the “Costs” of Intervention Blocks?

In our last post, What Impact do Intervention Blocks Have on Teachers’ Time Pt. 1, we looked at how adding an Intervention Block to a teacher’s schedule is not at all like adding an additional class. But of course, there is additional work associated with adding anything to a teacher’s schedule.

At Enriching Students, we’ve worked with a number of schools that have implemented these periods, or blocks, into their schedule. Each school we’ve worked with has set up a homeroom/advisory. To explain this for the sake of this conversation, the homeroom/advisory group would be students that have been assigned to you for scheduling purposes. These students may or may not be in any of your classes.

This arrangement gives you a number of students that you will need to get to know. You’ll be tracking their progress, and perhaps most importantly, you’ll be helping them to make informed decisions about how best to use the intervention, or advisory (or whatever name your school gives this time) blocks. You'll find yourself interacting with different teachers as you try to determine what help students really need.

As a result of your increased interactions and conversations with students, you may find yourself curious about the content of other departments and how they do things. You may even find that there are methods and techniques that you might find beneficial to utilize in your own teaching. In your role as a teacher, you will need to monitor your classes and be sure to pre-book students who appear to be wavering.

And you'll probably get involved in conversations regarding support staff utilization. Some staff members may need to be open to the possibility of some development in areas outside of their expertise such as in math, reading, or writing so that these areas can be better reinforced by teachers who tend not to be heavily booked. Basically, there would be some discussion as to the general workload distribution. Overall, there will need to be more communication to keep things organized, and to ensure students are getting what they need. 

All of this is work. However, just a few of the upshots are:

  • Better appreciation of your colleagues
  • Increased communication across departments
  • Improved vigilance over student performance and morale

Think about these benefits. They will effect the entire school. Most importantly, they will give students the personalized attention they need. Ramping up communication leads to better support, better relationships with those that you work with. The net result for students is a change in school culture, from one where many students feel that the only ones getting attention are the ones at the very top and very bottom, to one where all students feel that they’re getting attention and support. Personalized learning starts to become more of a reality.

But what comes next? How can you successfully organize your students to schedule intervention blocks?