Advisor Challenges a Big Hit

A big part of Senior School life is Advisor Groups. The groups get together once a week and are led by a teacher who serves as the advisor of the same group for the majority of a student’s Senior School experience. 
The boys form solid relationships and have a chance to get to know students in other grades, as the groups are made up of boys in Grades 10 to 12. Grade 9 students have their own Advisor Groups as part of the Foundation Year program. 

This year, Community Service and Global Partnerships Coordinator Emma Totten has added a new twist: Advisor Challenges. Each week, there are challenges that offer points or prizes for completing the task. These have included door decorating, word puzzles, math challenges, card games, building a card tower, Halloween trivia and Name that Movie Theme Tune. Who brings in the most for the monthly community drives has also been part of the challenges. 

Not only do these challenges add some fun to the weekly meetings, but Ms. Totten says they also do many other things as well. 

“A big part of it is team work,” said Ms. Totten. “These challenges really allow the boys to work together, build relationships and form a sense of camaraderie. It also seems to make conversation flow more easily.”

Science teacher Nathan Chow’s Advisory Group has embraced the challenges, enjoying the competitive nature and the fun activities. 

“We have a pretty cohesive group that likes to see everyone else in the group succeed. No one wants to be the person who makes us fail,” said Mr. Chow. “I will note that two years ago, before I left for sabbatical, we were running ‘Mr. Chow Challenges’ – doing things like bottle flips or predicting how far things would slide. So, my Grade 12 guys have been prepped for this for a few years! ” 

Mr. Chow, who is equally as keen to take part in the challenges himself, thinks the activities have been a great addition to the groups. 

“I feel like my group has become more cohesive over the course of the year,” he said. “They encourage each other to do the challenges. We come together as a team and do the challenges together. It has led to a really supportive environment.”

Mr. Chow’s advisee, Will McIlroy, Grade 12, has also enjoyed the addition of the advisor challenges this year. 

“It’s been a lot of fun and they certainly give the block of time some meaning,” he said. “We’ve been pretty enthusiastic about it all. The best ones are those that have room for internal competition, but also collaboration.”