Handing Over the Reins to Mr. Haines

Kaitlin Bethay, Co-Editor-In-Chief

Keller High welcomes Mr. Haines to campus this year. He is not only new to KHS, but also to trade of teaching. Although a rookie, he has a full set of classes to attend to this year, including: Video Production, Graphic Design and Illustration, Adv. Graphic Design and Illustration, Commercial Photography and Adv. Commercial Photography.

“It has been great,” Mr. Haines said. “I don’t know what I expected. I’ve been really surprised by students that I thought might not be interested in things, getting interested. That means everything to me. It’s really cool. I like seeing people learn.”

Before diving into the world of education, Mr. Haines graduated from Oklahoma State with a Bachelor’s in Broadcast Journalism. He spent 16 years in the video production industry as a video editor, motion designer and director. Eight of those years he owned his own business.

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do in school, but I wanted to make things, pretty things. I wasn’t a fine art major but I knew that I could make video that looked cool and be creative in a way that didn’t necessarily require me to have much raw artistic talent. I knew I could master this and make things look neat. That’s what I’ve been doing ever since. Until I decided to become a teacher and completely change careers.”

With professional and entrepreneurial experience, one has to wonder, “How does educator correlate to his profession progression?”

“I married a teacher a few years ago and I kind of got jealous. She would come home everyday and talk about all the stuff her students were learning. Most of my job is sitting in a dark room by myself, making pretty pictures and that is about it.”

Her stories were not the only thing that fueled his desire to teach.

“When I owned my own business I was in the position to hire people who do audio and visual production,” Mr. Haines said.  “I noticed kids who had film degrees or experience in college were really deficient in their knowledge of the tools.”

With this in mind, Mr. Haines decided to switch gears and go back to high school.

“I feel I can actually make a real difference and teach people applicable skills and almost a trade. Knowing how to use Photoshop really well is, I would say, almost equivalent to knowing how to fix a drain. Knowing the tools makes you really good at it and people will hire you for it.”

However, the transition from professional to educator is not always easy.

“My biggest challenge is remembering the level at which I’m teaching,” Mr. Haines said. “I’m following the framework set forth in my curriculum; I just have a tendency to rush through it. I need to let some things sink in before moving on, which is kind of what I did at the end of my second week. We have these really awesome computers sitting here and all these great programs I just want them to be engaged for the entire 48 minutes.”

Mr. Haines has not completely given up his former occupation. Just like his students, he wants to continue learning.

“This weekend I’ll make trailers for a video game,” Mr. Haines said. “It is important for me to continue working, so I don’t get stale or stop learning new things. I would also miss making my own stuff.”

Suffice to say Mr. Haines has the best of both worlds and wants to keep it that way. He could not stop smiling as he expressed his newfound joy for teaching.

“I’m really happy to be here. It’s a great place.”