By Adelle MacDowell
This year, teachers worked together to create Office Hours Day, a day dedicated to helping students to make up missing proficiencies. Lamoille Union’s first Office Hours Day took place on December 12th, and overall response from students was positive, but many suggest future improvements.
Lamoille Union English teacher Chelsea Circe spoke about how she got together with other teachers to brainstorm ideas to help students who were missing proficiencies. They came up with Office Hours Day, which Circe says is a way “to help students reach teachers in a different format in addition to our regular office hours.”
Circe says there was some opposition to the idea, which mostly came from “questions about how the day was going to go,” but added that “mostly, people were really excited about it.”
Interviews with three different students in advance of Office Hours Day showed a variety of sentiments and plans for the day.
“My plans are making up proficiencies I failed in Biology last year, and catching up in Horton’s class,” said sophomore Blythe Chouinard. However, she noted that she didn’t think the day would be beneficial to people who don’t need to make up work, saying “for people who are caught up on their work, it’s a complete waste of time.”
Sophomore Noah Burnham and a student who wished to remain anonymous stated that they didn’t plan to show up to school at all. “I think that for a lot of people, it’s an excuse to skip school,” said Burnham, and the anonymous student added “I don’t think it’ll be helpful to me personally.”
Burnham and the other student both agree that it could be worthwhile to students who need to catch up and are willing to put in the work. “They’ll have to motivate themselves to work,” said Burnham. “It’s like working on a Saturday.” The other student expressed skepticism; “I feel like the people who haven’t done their work won’t motivate themselves to actually show up to school and do the work.”
After our first Office Hours Day, students reflected on how it went. Sophomore Kayla Meegan had a mixed experience. “In financial independence I caught up on almost everything,” she said, but she wasn’t able to finish what she needed to in Geometry because the teacher had so many other students to help. She did note that, “if you were with your friends, you were less likely to make up proficiencies.”
The general consensus is that Office Hours Day was largely beneficial to the students who put in some effort and used the time to work on proficiencies. In terms of improvements, Chouinard suggested “more than one chill room, and also sledding and outdoor activities,” and adds that another good use of time would be interest groups.
Burnham said, “I think we should be able to do community service, maybe do a field trip, a hike, or go skiing,” and Circe expressed similar views, saying she wanted “field trips available and public service opportunities.” In addition, she added, “I would really like to have a full day of office hours available,” since “a lot of people wished it had been a full day.”
According to Circe, there will hopefully be another Office Hours Day in February.