History Teacher Mr. Douglas Kayne

Teaching history wasn’t always his passion. Mr. Kayne comedically unravels his past jobs and experiences that led him on his current path, as well as some regrets and advice.



Mr. Kayne poses for his ‘mugshot’.

Mr. Douglas Kayne zigzagged through life trying to find a field that interested him, when his journey suddenly came to a halt after hearing about a job opening for a history teacher. Now he resides here on campus, incorporating humor and current events into his lessons.

1.What inspired you to become a History teacher?

“I needed a job and they had it open, that’s seriously the answer. I was trying to make it in the acting business, but that didn’t happen. I was like, ‘what might be a fun job?’ and teaching sounded fun. Then, I was going to become an art teacher, but I changed my mind. Then, I was going to be an English teacher until I found out I needed to take 12 more classes in addition to the course load, whereas for becoming a history teacher I only needed to take five or pass a test and take one, so I chose that.”

2. How do you stimulate your students when they show disinterest in the current curriculum?

“Smack them over the head. No, that would be wrong. I try to inject humor. I try to make things relevant, but sometimes they just need a nap.”

3. Do you have a method to encourage students about learning events that took place such a long time ago?

“Actually, it really depends. I show lots of visuals. I try to make things relevant to today and connect it to stuff that is going on today. One of the assignments in my U.S. History class was called “current event” where they had to connect current events to what it is that we’re covering.”

4. Is there anything you wish you’d known when you first started teaching?

“Of course. There are a lot of things I wish I’d known, like how much less stressful it would be if I went into another line of work. I sometimes look back when I’m driving and I see the construction workers. I look at them sometimes with envy because they don’t have to take any of the work home. They get some exercise, they get fresh air.”

5. Do you have any advice for students that are interested in becoming teachers?

“Run. Don’t go into it for the summer vacations, don’t go into it thinking, ‘oh, this will be easy’. If you’re thinking about doing it, ask a teacher to sit in and observe the classes. See what it’s really like.”

6. Can you describe the best history lesson you have ever taught?

“No, cause I haven’t done it yet. There are so many lessons that I’ve enjoyed. It just kind of depends. I have economics, which students hate. They hate it while doing it, but they like it afterwards. It’s a very difficult simulation course, but I have students come back to specifically thank me for the class itself.”

7. What is your approach to balancing your work life and personal life?

“You have to, in some cases, just leave the stuff here. This is the space to work. Consciously, set time aside. Consciously, decide you’re no longer a teacher today.”