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The Campanile

The Campanile

The Campanile

Teachers should extend availability beyond tutorial

Each week, students leave sixth period and are faced with the decision of where to go during tutorial. Many students use this time to catch up in classes they missed recently or to work with their teacher one-on-one to better understand a confusing concept. Students will also often visit a class during tutorial if they have a test approaching, because they get an extra hour to review the material they will be tested on and ask their teacher any questions they still may have.

However, with the tutorial system implemented this year, students are only allowed to check in at one location and must stay in that location in order for tutorial to count as instructional minutes. While this system has its merit, it creates problems for students who have to visit multiple teachers, either because they missed multiple classes or they would like help in more than one class.

To solve this issue, The Campanile recommends that teachers post a schedule of times and places students can find them outside of tutorial. We understand that this is an extra commitment for teachers and truly appreciate that. We also understand that teachers cannot give up all their preps to meet students, but even just a few opportunities to meet can be extremely helpful. One teacher who has made such a schedule is chemistry teacher Samuel Howles-Banerji. According to Howles-Banerji, a Google form detailing his availability during the week is linked on Schoology and updated weekly, including the locations he is likely to be in at any given time.

Teachers are busy and as students, we are extremely grateful that they set aside time for us two or three times a week during tutorial. However, given the new restrictions for tutorial this year, we often need more opportunities to meet with our teachers. While most teachers can be found in their offices during preps, this is not always the case. For this reason, a schedule would be most helpful in finding teachers during off-peak hours.

According to Howles-Banerji, though a system similar to what he uses can make his schedule more restrictive, it has helped make his students aware of where he can be found at various times during the week.

Obviously, posting a schedule would not be an open invitation to barge in on a teacher without notice. Students would still have to schedule an appointment in advance, but creating a chart with a teacher’s availabilities would be a helpful first step in setting up these meetings. Teachers could also designate specific times on their schedule that are not good times to meet, which would give students a better understanding of when to schedule an appointment.

In Howles-Banerji’s Google form, a clear indication is given of whether or not certain blocks of time are available, down to the scheduling of the advisory sessions he teaches for freshmen.

With the introduction of the new, restrictive tutorial system this fall, there has been a clear need for students to have a way to meet and communicate with their teachers  in a clear and easy fashion.

The Campanile urges teachers to consider adopting a similar system to Howles-Banerji’s, so as to help students get the time they need with their teachers. Posting an availability schedule is a simple and effective tool to help the student body learn and succeed academically and would be greatly appreciated.

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