(Image by Ela Freeman)
Emma D., Arts Department Co-Editor
On Dec. 4, the George Washington University Online High School hosted an assembly on the topic of making good decisions. The lecture was presented by academic advisors Ela Freeman and Chelsea Crawford. While they navigated the audio glitches that occurred in Newrow, Freeman and Crawford provided students with advice on evaluating decisions.
At the beginning of the presentation, Crawford reminded students of the macro-and micro-decisions present in their daily lives. “You made a decision to type in the chatbox. You made a decision to come to this assembly. You made a decision to log into your classes today…Now, of course, not every day we’re making major decisions, but every decision we make does have a consequence,” she said.
The speakers emphasized how students should avoid making decisions when they are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. “If you are in one of those emotional states or physical states, you’re likely to make an emotional decision,” Freeman said.
They encouraged students to take responsibility for their own choices and to become proactive decision-makers. To demonstrate this, the lecturers outlined a series of steps students could follow when trying to make a decision:
- State the situation.
- List the options.
- Weigh the outcomes.
- Consider personal values.
The advisors recommended that after they make a decision, students should evaluate it and reward themselves. “If it was a decision that had a negative outcome, use it as a learning opportunity,” Crawford said.
Maya Manssuri, a student who attended the presentation, found the advice given by Freeman and Crawford to be useful. “It was all laid out in a very clear and concise manner, and the assembly overall really helped clear up some of my troubles on this issue…they conveyed the material in a way that didn’t confuse me and didn’t sound too philosophical,” she said.
The speakers encouraged participation, as they asked students to share their personal experiences with decision making. On an interactive virtual whiteboard, students revealed the factors that influence their decisions. The presenters also shared a motivational video and speech. For Manssuri, these aspects of the lecture “made everything very engaging and helped [me] digest all the tips and information given.”
As for why Freeman and Crawford selected decision making as their assembly topic, it was described as a natural choice. “This is a topic that we thought would be really relevant to what’s going on in all of our everyday lives,” said Freeman.
To create the presentation itself, the two worked together extensively. “I think the two of us, just based upon our experiences in education…worked together to plan out what the main topics are, what…some of the research says…so that’s how we approached it,” Freeman said.
In the past, the only two large-scale events offered for students were the “Welcome Back” assemblies, held at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters, but things have turned out to be different this year. Freeman said, “Especially with what’s going on now, there’s a lot of people feeling isolated, and so, we’re trying to find ways of creating that community and having space where everyone can interact.”
Students are encouraged to attend these kinds of presentations, so they can practice self-improvement. “One of the things that GW focuses on are those social, emotional, and academic goals, and a lot of these assemblies are geared towards helping students achieve these goals,” Crawford said.
This was the sixth academic advising assembly offered by the school. Previous topics have included managing time, succeeding on multiple-choice tests, implementing habits, developing self-care techniques, and finding positive coping strategies for stress. A schedule of upcoming assemblies can be found in the GWUOHS Activities Calendar.