One of my students came to my office in tears a couple of weeks ago. To be really honest, I wasn't looking forward to hearing about the latest perceived ninth-grade slight, but I invited her in to sit down anyway. Tissues, check. Caring posture, check. Soft voice, on it.
When I asked her what was wrong she replied with the most beautiful of all sentences ever uttered, "Mrs. Holmberg, all we ever do at this school is THINK!"
The stars aligned, angelic voices lifted in my ears, the earth moved, and the heavens opened before me. Delta High School had arrived.
When I explained to my charge that thinking is and was the whole purpose of school, she cried harder.
"When do we get to stop?"
My answer? "Never."
At Delta, a student must submit evidence of learning. They must be proved guilty of having learned through problem-solving exercises that span the subjects. This process, in turn, keeps our students busy thinking. It is exhausting, I'll give them that. If we teach students technical skill, it will be outdated in two years. If we teach students how to think and how to learn, it will last the 85 or so years these 14-year-olds have left.
Problem-solving, after all, never goes out of style. Problem-solving is the new black. Problem solving is Delta High.
To be continued.