Homeroom guidance activities teach students to develop life-long skills for college course work and future career opportunities.
Schools are moving away from scheduling homeroom time on a daily basis. Instead, they are opting for having revitalized homeroom guidance program activities once a week or on an as-needed basis. Still, teachers find themselves in homeroom for extended periods of time, and it is an ideal opportunity for homeroom guidance activities. Wise is the teacher who utilizes these bits of time for helping students maneuver through what can be choppy years of high school.
First Steps to Homeroom Guidance
Many homeroom guidance activities center on helping students successfully transition from the hormones-with-feet stages of junior high to the sometimes overwhelming high school arena. Activities should help students learn their new high school and how it operates, along with rules, regulations and handbook expectations. While the revitalized homeroom guidance program activities help students transition from lower level to upper level classrooms, counselors offer support with plenty of ideas on hand. Homeroom teachers and counselors can be of enormous help in steering students into activities, clubs, sports and extracurricular offerings.
The selection can be overwhelming, but not selecting is too often the choice for many students. Homeroom guidance activities guide students into making wise selections otherwise not considered. Many schools offer various homeroom guidance modules as part of the high school experience. Etiquette is a lost art. In fact, many counselors and teachers involve students with etiquette as part of the revitalized homeroom guidance program activities.
Thank-you notes, prom invitations, graduation invitations--all these occasions provide homeroom teachers opportunities for teaching proper social etiquette. Although students may snicker, most will appreciate knowing how, even if they don’t always do so correctly, to write a proper acknowledgment. Students need to know that if someone thinks enough of them to send a gift, they need to take the small amount of time it takes to write a thank-you note. They also need to know that people will be judging them on their etiquette for the rest of their lives.
Topics for Homeroom Guidance Activities
Topics for homeroom guidance activities should help students learn, early on, the importance of all four years of high school. Students may not be aware that the grades they earn in the ninth grade will weigh into overall grade point averages later on, ultimately affecting their college acceptance and scholarship opportunities. A homeroom guidance program sample includes organizational skills to structure classes, extra-curricular activities and college prep workshops. Homeroom guidance activities should always keep graduation requirements on the radar screen.
Teachers and counselors should have students fill in a form that has them check off their own progress toward meeting their personal graduation requirements. Yes, the school does keep computerized records, but part of the tasks of many educators is to help make students accountable. Such skills will serve students well as topics for homeroom guidance throughout their college and career lives. That old saying, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere else” holds true. Other topics for homeroom guidance include stress management and anxiety coping skills. More importantly, student might also consider creating healthy habits as they become more independent.
Academic Success with Homeroom Guidance
Homeroom guidance modules include teaching students where to find information concerning standardized tests, such as the American College Testing or ACT and Scholastic Aptitude Test or SAT. Homeroom is an ideal time to show students the various websites and to stress how, over the course of several years, practice with the SAT question of the day can help pump up those SAT scores.
Homeroom teachers and counselors run across all types of communications regarding scholarship opportunities. An example of homeroom guidance modules is monitoring scholarship opportunities for students. Keeping a designated area for such notices and incorporating this material into homeroom guidance activities will often result in more scholarship money for students. Bulletin boards, information folders, website addresses and posted reminders serve students well in those times when they find themselves waiting for the bell.
Carrie Keathley served as a high school English teacher for more than 30 years. She now writes for various websites. Keathly earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Wesleyan College, a Master of Arts in English education from East Carolina University and is certified in teaching the academically gifted.