The chapter adviser provides a wealth of advice and practical knowledge and is one of the most important factors in the success of an Honor Society chapter. The adviser is the liaison between students and school administration. Advising requires personal time and educational commitment.
Here are some things that chapter advisers do regularly:
- Consider services and activities for the school and community that will bring improvement to the school community
- Coordinate the work of the chapter through the officers and committees
- Make detailed yearlong plans, writing goals for each project
- Work with the officers and members to plan meetings and activities for the yearlong schedule
- Hold regular meetings and planning sessions with the chapter’s executive committee
- Know your officers, their duties, and personalities, and how to help them develop into successful student leaders
- Read and review the National Handbook; read each issue of Advise magazine; and visit the NJHS website to stay informed about Honor Society activities, policies, and procedures
- Review the school and chapter policies regarding student activities
- Maintain contact with faculty and administrators, by clearing all activities with the principal and keeping him or her informed of all chapter functions
- Lead, but do not do, the students’ work and find ways to guide chapter members without dictating
- Are open-minded, looking for new ideas and encouraging the best from students
- Participate in Honor Society-sponsored activities
- Understand how student activities operate in your district and state, including legal responsibilities
- Teach, as well as practice, democratic actions and encourage civic engagement
As a chapter adviser, you need to know:
The purposes and history of the Honor Societies
Why do Honor Societies exist? What should they accomplish? Start with your local chapter bylaws or constitution. Does it outline any purposes for your group on campus? Review or develop chapter goals.
The relevant policies of your school district
Check with your principal and district administrators. Know and understand the rules that govern what student activity groups can and cannot do, especially where field trips, fundraising, and projects are concerned.
The bylaws of your Honor Society chapter
Be sure your current practices are in line with what’s written in your bylaws and that the bylaws are in line with the provisions of the NJHS National Constitution. If they don’t coincide, reconcile the differences.
The function of the adviser in the chapter
Be sure to meet with the principal to determine his or her expectations for you. Develop a productive working relationship. Also meet with your officers and let them know how you view your role.