Freshman Seminar: Is It Helpful?
By: Kelly Fleischmann
One day a week, freshmen meet with their school counselor in a classroom setting. Topics like graduation requirements, online behavior, and managing school work with home life are all discussed. Along with talking with a counselor, one day of the week students are provided with a study hall where they are encouraged to complete work. I talked to my peers to gather their opinions on whether they find freshman seminar helpful.
The first conversation I had was with Caroline Arkus, a student currently taking freshman seminar. Caroline said, “[Talking with my counselor] helps me prepare for my future high school years and life outside of high school.” She shared with me that, along with finding help out of the meetings with the counselor, she also found the days they get to spend as a study hall to be very productive. Every freshman I talked to does not have another study hall time, making this study hall very valuable for them to complete work.
Another freshman I spoke with said that they find that the time the counselor comes in is not as useful as study hall time. They told me that they believe most of the lessons taught by the counselor are common sense, making it not necessary to meet with them every week. A few other freshmen I talked to shared this same belief, as they think this time could be better spent studying or completing assignments.
I talked with a student who would like to remain anonymous (who I will refer to as student #2), who explained that she would find one-on-one meetings every so often with her counselor in addition to the classroom setting more helpful. The time in the classroom does not leave room for students to have conversations with their counselor, which she believes would be helpful to many students, including herself.
Overall, the majority of students think freshman seminar could be more productive as a study hall period. That poses the question: what changes could be made to freshman seminar to meet the feelings of these students? As student #2 shared above, it may be most beneficial to have whole class lessons less often while spending some of these days having students have one-on-one meetings with the counselor.