Teachers, please stop shepherding us to rallies

October 18, 2023 — by Alec Guan and Jeremy Si
Graphic by Isabelle Wang
Rallies are the place to go if you want people encroaching on your personal space.
Rallies waste precious tutorial time that can be used for homework and studying.

It’s wishful thinking to believe all students enjoy rallies and want to attend them.

These students, feeling defeated, are sometimes corralled by staff into the large gym like sheep. They sit on the cramped bleachers, squeezing each other to the point of suffocation while the ceaseless and deafening screaming  feels like it’s going to shatter their eardrums. 

Admittedly, rallies happen only a few times a year, but the problem is that their timing can be awful. Have you ever had an upcoming test right after tutorial or an urgent matter to discuss with a teacher only to find out that there was an upcoming rally looming in the shadows, waiting to poach your entire tutorial period? Unfortunately, we have — more than a few times.

On rally days, many students walk to their usual spots for tutorial hoping to meet with their friends and do homework, only to find their favorite classrooms locked and their beloved teachers nowhere to be found. While the school doesn’t have an explicit policy mandating rally attendance, teachers practically push us out of their rooms and into the large gym during rally days.

Tutorials are incredibly useful and should not be pushed aside by rallies. They are supposed to be a time for students to catch up on homework and seek help from teachers; the school makes this very clear during the beginning of the year, as they waste tutorial time emphasizing the importance of tutorial.

 We as students are not supposed to engage in frivolous activities during this short work period in order for the school to meet the state-mandated instructional minutes requirement. So where do frivolous activities like rallies fit in? 

Rallies are full of “fun” games and activities that students and staff compete in, while their peers and colleagues watch and cheer them on — does this count as being any more academically or socially emotionally relevant than studying and hanging out with friends? Rallies are intended to improve school spirit, but when was the last time a rally actually achieved this goal? It seems that after every single rally, many people come out of the gym shaking their heads in regret and muttering complaints to their friends about the precious time they lost.


Although it may be entertaining to see your friends miserably fail in various rally games like the hamster-ball jousting last year, this short-lived satisfaction doesn’t yield any of the long-lasting positive results that productive tutorial sessions do. Besides, rallies have the same effect on your ears as if you sat next to a running lawn mower for an hour straight, which probably isn’t the best.  

Of course, rallies can be a fun place to take a break for those who want to relax, but practically forcing us to go to them simply does not make sense. On these rally days, the school should at least open some classrooms for students to preserve their personal space bubbles and their eardrums.

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