Habitudes, What’s the point?


Shiloh Emanuel

Joshua Nkem-Ajoku voicing his concerns on Habitudes

Shiloh Emanuel , Journalist

Last school year, Habitudes was incorporated into the teaching curriculum for the first time at University Prep. For those who are unfamiliar with Habitudes, it is a program aimed at teaching both high school and middle school students the qualities of a good leader in hopes of creating successful people with strong leadership skills in the future. However, the students at UP don’t seem to believe that Habitudes is really beneficial at all.

“Honestly, I think that Habitudes itself is a waste of time. They tell us things that we already know and it’s boring at times. The only reason why I like going to that class is because I get to socialize with the people in that class.” Julius Scruggs was quick to express his concerns regarding Habitudes. “I think that a better way to use homeroom is to use it more like a study hall where I could do homework or study for another class.”

Josh Nkem-Ajoku, a Senior at University Prep had a similar but less negative opinion of the Habitudes program. “I kind of like Habitudes because it allows me to meet people from other grades that I wouldn’t be able to meet in any other setting, however I personally don’t think that Habitudes on its own has been that beneficial to me because it just seems like Habitudes only talks about things that are pretty much common sense,” said Mr. Nkem-Ajoku calmly. “I think that if we had Habitudes more frequently than just once every other week, that the messages might have a bigger impact on us. I mean, the message sticks with us the following day but by the time the next week comes around I don’t even remember what the lesson was.”

Students at University Prep don’t seem very satisfied with Habitudes but, as with any issue, there are always two sides. Principal Valerie Hatcher was asked to shed some light on the subject. On why she chose to add Habitudes to the school curriculum, she responded, “You see, our district belongs to an Organization called P.B.I.S. and it is basically a system that is supposed to help schools with disciplinary problems, however, we really don’t have many disciplinary problems at this school, so an alternative to that is Habitudes”. She then continued to say that she chose Habitudes specifically because she wanted to create more positive relationships between the students and the teachers. “I think we are still working out the wrinkles,” Hatcher replied with a sheepish smile. “I feel like one of the reasons that Habitudes is struggling is because once or twice a month is not frequent enough for the students to create stronger relationships with the teachers.” This was very similar to what Josh Nkem-Ajoku had to say. “Look, I know that Habitudes isn’t perfect but it’s the best alternative that we have at the moment. Habitudes is only a tool. The students that choose to not use it will not really get anything out of it and the students that choose to use what they can to their advantage could get a lot out of it,” Hatcher admits.

So now you have both sides of the story and even some background information on how it came to be part of our curriculum. Now the choice is yours, which type of student will you choose to be?