2018, February, Opinions, Cheshire Chat, Acquavita

Dr. Gadd Tries New “Cheshire Chat” Activity
by Julia Acquavita, 2018 (posted 3-13-18)

On Monday, February 5th, Dr. Gadd, Cheshire High School’s principal, tested the CHS waters with a new activity in place of advisory, this activity being called the “Cheshire Chat.” These Cheshire Chats are designed for students to engage in conversation with their administrative figures, such as Dr. Gadd herself, in order to foster a meaningful relationship amongst students and their teachers.

The first Cheshire Chat took place on February 5th, where students filed into the auditorium as they patiently awaited the upcoming events Dr. Gadd had planned for us. I was excited to see what this new activity had in store for my peers and I. As the period began, Dr. Gadd commenced the activity. She discussed how, according to the Endicott Survey, most students seemed unclear about what the CHS Performance Standards expected of them. Therefore, she dedicated some time to discussing these performance standards and then finished the chat off with a survey for students to take that dealt with the CHS Performance Standards, followed by some prizes that were given out.

Overall, I felt like this Cheshire Chat was not necessarily a chat. I truly do think that Dr. Gadd’s idea of hosting such Cheshire Chats every few weeks is a creative way to talk with students, however, in order for these students to have their voices heard regarding the problems in our school, changes must be made to the setup of these chats. One change I would make is the location of the chats. Perhaps the auditorium is not the most conversation-fostering environment. Another effective method would be to randomly assign students of all grades into specific rooms where teachers are available to discuss the topic of that day’s chat, rather than having students congregate in the auditorium.

The “Cheshire Chat” did go well as its trial run; however, with a few changes, I believe that these chats could be more effective and helpful than ever!