There are days when it isn’t easy working with teenagers. Between the negatives of social media, “normal” high school drama, and the difficulties that come with being that age, these times can be trying. As parents, you know this much better than me. Our students are normal teens. They make the mistakes that teenagers make. Some of them are relatively harmless; others are more serious.
Because of this reality, it is equally if not more important for us to celebrate and acknowledge the good that our students do and experience. On our campuses, there is much to celebrate.
On the Friday before Presidents’ Day weekend, members of our community had the privilege to experience the gifts of our student body. Arts Day was a feast for the senses, and it culminated in an equally wonderful public performance that evening. The ability and willingness of our students to explore their God-given gifts, under the tutelage of our faculty, is one of the most distinctive opportunities Dock provides. Yes, there are disappointments that go along with this event, in terms of both participation and selection of winners; yet even these can become teachable moments.
On a recent Saturday, right after a thrilling Friday night basketball game that saw a last-second basket give our boys a berth in both the district championship and state playoff brackets, I was “invited” to bring lunch to one of two Dock teams competing in the Moody’s Mega Math Challenge. These students gave 14 hours of their own time on a Saturday to work at three extremely challenging math problems.
Here were our students, engaging in real-world problem-solving, working toward real solutions to a real challenge the world faces.
As I brought the pizza and wings (what else would teens request!), I walked into a home and saw the dining room table covered with computers, iPads, and other electronic devices, with wires and extension cords going everywhere. As they tried to explain to me what they were doing, I marveled at their desire to engage in project-based learning. Here were our students, engaging in real-world problem-solving, working toward real solutions to a real challenge the world faces.
In their own unique way, each of our students is pretty amazing. We should not forget that. I continue to be filled with hope when I see the ways you support us at school and at home. Along with the adults on this campus, you are part of a team that inspires and equips our beloved (and yes, sometimes frustrating!) students to discover the academic and spiritual gifts that God has given them.
—Martin D. Wiens, Principal
Read more about Arts Day
Read more about the Moody Mega Math Challenge