Learn all about how Mr. Payne has supported our 8th graders at Beta Upper School through the high school application process!
A recent interview with Derek Payne:
Tell me more about the work you are doing with the transitioning 8th graders?
“The real formal work is helping them learn about the options that are available. I don’t want them to default to going to a place that doesn’t meet their social and academic needs. This created a sense of urgency for a lot of them. They all took the time to learn about their options. I want to say all of our kids are applying to parochial and charter schools. The kids are really taking the lead on their work, they are the ones taking the initiative to do their research.”
What has surprised you about the process?
“Seeing them take responsibility and ownership of taking on the process. They are making a choice about where they will be the next four years of their lives! They are taking it upon them to make informed decisions.”
If you can relate the work you do to one of our pillars, which would it be?
“ I think ACT is a big one and I know they are still working for themselves in this case. I am seeing them step up and take initiative, doing research on where they want to go can mean 4 years of change. They also influence each other to make great choices about where they want to go. THINK as well because I started the year doing a life plan project with them and it’s the cutest thing in the world. They look on Zillow to look at mortgage prices, car payments, what they want their families to look like. We go through all their dreams and we bring it down from macro to micro. They think about what they are doing now, to have the life that they want. Middle school is all about developing habits, which will hugely impact their trajectory.”
What is the most memorable thing about going through this process with them?
“ I love seeing what their dreams and aspirations are and taking them through to see very real steps. I know all teachers do this everyday, but it makes it real when we talk about their dreams and they document these on their life plan. When you connect getting good grades and doing assignments to their dream, it’s more meaningful.”