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Promoting Our School’s TiGERS Values Through the MS Advisory Program

By Jean Candol-Piscioneri
Promoting Our School’s TiGERS Values Through the MS Advisory Program

The middle school advisory program at Seoul International School (SIS) has been very instrumental in helping teachers to promote our TiGERS values—how to be Trustworthy individuals, Independent critical thinkers, Global citizens, Effective communicators, Reflective learners, and Socially responsible individuals—beyond the subject areas. In addition to building relationships and providing academic support, the advisory program has given students opportunities to carry out service projects.
In middle school, advisory classes meet for 20 minutes each day, and each class consists of between 12 and 15 students of the same grade level. The purpose of this program is to build connections between students and teachers and to offer more individual support to students, strengthening the entire school community.
One advantage to our advisory program model in the middle school is the regularity of our meeting schedule. Thanks to that 20-minute advisory segment each day, my class this year—which goes by the name “Mrs. Piscioneri’s Pink Fluffy Unicorns”—was able to carry out its plan to support Project Hope for Nepal, a program founded by Justin Chang, a former SIS middle school student who is currently enrolled in Grade 11.
Chang created Project Hope for Nepal to raise relief funds for the Nepalese children and families affected by the devastating earthquake of 2015, specifically benefitting the Khagendra New Life Secondary School. Advisory time has provided us a venue in which to organize two major fundraising activities this year. With the support of our MS Principal, Tim Teiman, and our guidance counselor, Mrs. De Mers, my advisory class was able to successfully spearhead these activities. Working towards this goal gave my students an opportunity to be of service to others without having to travel to Nepal, and allowed them to put our TiGERS values into practice.
Our first fundraising activity was the Fashion Show, held 3 February 2017. I was elated to see how engaged my students were in the planning stage.
Dividing the class into small committees was easy and it went smoothly. Alice Kim and Colin Kim immediately stepped up to emcee the event. Bin Chiang, Jay Park, Amber Cheun, and Sarah Yim happily volunteered to handle lighting. Bin Chiang, Daniel Lee, and Richard Jung, who are pretty savvy with technology, enthusiastically offered to compile a soundtrack for the fashion show. Hyeonseo Park, Chloe Lee, Lauren Kim, and Lauren Hahn eagerly volunteered to do the make-up for the models. Amber Cheun, Andrew Park, Chloe Lee, and Jay Lee were brave enough to be our models. Mr. Kip de Shazo, Ms. Keeton Christian, Mr. Terence Tong, and Mrs. Irene de Shazo all willingly accepted our invitation to serve as teacher models.
From the planning stage up to the final event, every student was a champion at collaborating harmoniously with one another. They worked well with their partners.
They visited MS classrooms during advisory time to sell tickets. Additionally, I was very impressed at how my students communicated openly and respectfully with one another during the entire process. The fashion show would not have been a success without the help of Mrs. Haewon Lee and Miss Seema, a Nepalese citizen currently living in Seoul, who provided us with the Nepalese outfits worn by our models.
Our second fundraising activity was the Fund Run, which took place 7 April 2017, during Advisory time. Before the event, students were given a pledge form on which they wrote the number of laps they would willingly commit to run, and indicated how much their sponsors graciously pledged to donate. The sixth- and seventh-grade students participated in the Fund Run. In all, we raised about 1,000,000 won (US$900), which our headmaster, Dr. Kim, generously matched. We are very grateful for Dr. Kim’s kindness and generosity.
Thanks to our regular advisory time each day, Pink Fluffy Unicorns was able to pull off these successful fundraising events. As their advisory teacher, I could not be more proud of what they have achieved.
Indeed, advisory time gives each student a chance to work on tasks that are outside the realm of academics, yet each task is an opportunity to demonstrate how students can transfer the skills they learn in every subject area.
Advisory time is a great context for promoting TiGERS values and providing leadership opportunities for our great middle school students.
Mrs. Jean Candol-Piscioneri is currently a Grade 7 science teacher and the MS science curriculum leader at Seoul International School in South Korea

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