ATR has morphed into a confusing hodgepodge of activity

ATR is a mysterious time of the average AT school day. It seems as though you will never know what you are going to get from day to day when it comes to ATR. 

ATR is supposed to be a time for students to catch up on classwork, seek out a teacher’s help, or take missed and retake tests. 

Although this is often what ATR is meant to include, there are times when it is interrupted by alternative plans. Alternative plans spring up for a multitude of different reasons.

One of the most egregious aspects and alternative plans of using ATR time is that students are made to watch the student news. Until the student news video is over, students are not allowed to leave the classroom to complete their various tasks. While the prospect of this idea is all in good fun, it can cause serious issues for students.

Students will constantly plan ahead of time to go in to retake or get help during their ATR. It happens to students often when they make plans to see their teachers or take a missing test, and they spend half of their time watching the news. It is difficult to complete anything. 

The day that the news is playing can vary depending on the week. Meaning that depending on the week, a student’s plan for success is on the line.

Watching the news is only one of the many ATR diversions. There have been many other mandatory occurrences and will continue to be in the future if nothing changes.

ATR is a time for the students to accomplish their work, so when the time is diverted to something that does not align with what students perceive as meeting their immediate needs, it can be viewed as an insult. 

Back view of a thoughtful young guy sitting on chair looking at a scribble on a wall feeling confused with too many questions.
Photo courtesy of istock

The main priority of ATR should never be to complete an informative video about school events, however great the collaboration of students to create such a video is. The main priority should be seeking out the help students need. The issue with ATR is that it is not distinct in its top priorities and lower priorities, the time must be more distinguished for it to run like a well-oiled machine. When students are to think about ATR, it is not one solid idea, which is the fatal flaw of ATR as it is now. The main idea of a resource period is to reach out and use your academic resources, but that fact has been shrouded by all of the alternative plans constantly being thrown into the pot-luck that is ATR.

The constant misuse of time begs the question, should ATR exist? Although an extreme question, it begs an array of other interesting questions. Such as, what is an alternative to ATR that could serve a more productive and student-focused goal? Is there such an alternative? 

At the end of the day, ATR needs to be a time for the students to help work towards their academic goals, otherwise, it is a huge waste of thirty-five minutes. ATR has lost its meaning, and it needs to be brought back for the sake of the students.

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