Welcome to “Office Hours”

John Lane, Teacher Contributor

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Santiago High School has long been considered an excellent academic institution.  The students here have lots of choices in which to involve themselves, whether it be clubs, sports or academics.  Year after year we are recognized by one organization or another for our excellence in these areas.  SHS graduates move on to the best in vocational and higher education institutions every year.  Colleges and universities have professors who not only teach their classes, but who are available away from those classes, in their offices, for meetings with students.  But before students get to the next level after high school, it takes a lot of time and dedication to master the rigor contained within four years of academic torture.  Life is busy, society has a brisk pace and often times students feel overwhelmed, stressed-out and unsure which way is up.  Welcome to “Office Hours.”

I was skeptical about the new Office Hours schedule at first.  Taking a 30 minute chunk of time out of my teaching day, to do what?  I listened to school administration introduce the schedule, discuss what it might look like in principle, and explain that we were basically going to hit the ground running.  We could make it what we wanted to, keeping in mind that the purpose of the schedule was for student intervention.  Teachers care and want to see students succeed.  The schedule was created to allow for an on-campus time and place for students to catch up, get clarification, better understanding of certain subject matter, and to succeed.  I appreciate the trust with which our administrative team gave us some autonomy.

To determine the positives of the intervention-based “Office Hours” schedule, I took it to the students.  I opened my classroom to any and all students who wanted to get help in Spanish.  I opened my room to my students, other teachers’ students, whomever, for the first two weeks to see what would happen. This is what students have reported to me….

*Often invited by teachers to attend sessions to make up work, to receive one-on-one tutoring, to get homework done, to get missing work from previous absences, and to make up missing exams.

*When no invites have shown up, students often find an open room or area on campus to rest their minds, engage in cyberactivity or to get work done independently.  A much-needed break during their long day.

*Student-athletes sometimes use this time to meet with coaches, club members with advisors and other students with other members of faculty and staff to get unattended business handled.

Although in its infancy, Office Hours seems to be a hit with students, for whom the intervention was created in the first place.

 

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “Welcome to “Office Hours””

  1. David Wolfe on October 18th, 2016 10:09 am

    Awesome thanks for sharing!

    [Reply]

  2. Ray Teurfs on October 19th, 2016 8:22 am

    In our school in Guerneville, we did a similar thing, but we called it Tutorial. I like ‘Office Hours’ a lot more.

    Congrats on your program, and congrats to all the teachers who did not balk too much because they were asked to do more.

    [Reply]

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Welcome to “Office Hours”