Working with students in a communications and marketing role at an Auckland school proved a defining career experience for Kit Haines when he realised he wanted to change direction and go into teaching.

“I was working at King’s College writing stories about students, and what I actually wanted was to be in the classroom helping students write their own stories,” says 27-year-old Kit who graduated with a Masters in Teaching (Secondary) from University of Auckland’s Faculty of Education and Social Work this week.

“I wanted to help young people grow a love for learning and have the opportunity to inspire young people the way my teachers inspired me,” he adds.

Immediately after completing his year-long programme, Kit started a teaching job at Kelston Boys’ High School following in family footsteps set by his father and uncle who both taught there in the 1980s.

“There are teachers at Kelston who worked with my dad and others who remember him as their teacher” says Kit, who has a “family full of teachers” and was on the programme with a cousin.

Kit originally majored in public law and art history. He spent his final year editing the university student magazine Craccum which led him onto his communications and marketing career path. For three years, he worked for a range of businesses including the James Wallace Arts Trust, Auckland Council and, of course, King’s College.

Once he made his decision to change careers, Kit signed up for the year-long Masters programme at the Epsom campus. “It was intense. We did a full year load, including inquiry, teaching practicums and summer school,” he says.

There were 24 students in total on the programme and together they formed a “tight-knit whanau” with Kit meeting fellow student Maddy Casey-Ashton and now the two are partners.

“It was neat being able to cross the stage together and share our celebrations,” he says of their joint graduation.

Making the move into education after embarking initially on a different career path was a big decision and one that Kit has found “both exciting and challenging in one”.

“Teaching really is one of the most rewarding careers and there is so much research and practice to delve into. I wish I had started sooner but, at the same time, the life experience is also extremely helpful to my teaching career.”

Banner Image credit: Godfrey Boehnke


  1. A nice article. I didn’t go teaching until I was in my 30’s. Having worked in the business world, that “life experience” you bring to the classroom makes a huge difference in terms of being able to talk about how the subject you teach translates to the real world. I loved telling my senior classes about some of the research studies I had worked on and how that had lead to new product developments or policy changes. Unfortunately I did find the attitude to some senior teachers, who had spent their whole life as a teacher, quite negative towards me. It was almost as if they saw your life and real-world experience as a threat and would regularly criticize you and put you down. That doesn’t help when you are a beginning teacher, so I think the attitudes of some of those already in the profession still needs to change.


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