MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

April 16, 2013

Advocacy groups helps students

— Anyone who has attended a public high school knows that it can be a scary place for social interaction.

The pressure to fit in leads many teenagers to bad decisions and poor performance in the classroom.

Wagoner High School has a great approach to helping each student feel welcome.

The school devotes 25 minutes each Thursday afternoon to a student advocacy program.

The program links students with a teacher or mentor.

“It builds relationships,” Assistant Principal Jeremy Holmes said. “It’s not the teacher who’s going to test them. The students are able to talk to the teacher about a problem and not have to worry about a grade.”

Sophomore Brodee Hudson said the advocacy group helps students express themselves with a teacher on a more personal level.

Each advocacy group allots time for teachers to interact with the group as a whole and time for individual attention between teacher and student.

It also helps students get to know each other.

“I didn’t know hardly anyone here before this,” Brodee said. “Now I have more friends.”

The program gives students an opportunity to fit in with other students and learn that teachers care about them as people, not just students.

The program helps students get the most out of their high school experience.

That’s worthwhile.

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