BIO

Mike Haines

7th Grade Homeroom Teacher

6th, 7th, & 8th Grade Social Studies

6th & 7th Grade Religion Teacher

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I grew up in New Jersey with a loud and joyful Italian family. From a young age, I remember my mom and dad explaining the importance of getting a good education and going to college. If we went to college, we would be able to do anything we wanted. However, as I entered my freshman year, I had my head in the clouds and started my college career as a pre-med bio chem major who was NEVER going to teach. I also decided that my freshman year marked the end of my Catholic faith – God had a lot of different plans in store for me. 

 

After taking an education class with Professor Sook and a few U.S. government and politics classes with Professor Ricketts, I realized I loved history and education was an easy way to support declaring it as a major. After earning my associate's degree in education and rediscovering Catholicism, I transferred from Montclair State to continue my pursuit of history and education. During my first semester at Montclair, I had the privilege of shadowing a teacher in Newark, NJ. I entered a school that was so radically different than anything I had experienced in my life. I watched students enter through metal detectors and watched a teacher sit back and read a newspaper while students "worked" on their daily assignment. Shortly after the semester started, I rescinded my application to the School of Education and declared I would never become a teacher; I think at this point God was laughing at my stubborn nature. Thankfully while I completed my bachelor's degree, I was dragged back to the Catholic faith by a persistent friend who kept inviting me to Mass, Adoration, and various service opportunities. It was here that I fell in love with the Eucharist, met a great priest who helped me understand the beauty of the Catholic faith, and was able to encounter Christ fully.

 

After graduating from college, I took a job working in sales, but after a few years I was offered an opportunity to work as the Coordinator of Youth Ministry and Confirmation at St. Lawrence Church. For two years, I spent my time helping kids discover the beauty of the Catholic faith and teaching Confirmation classes. It was here that I began to fall in love with teaching. After my son was born, the move to education made sense and I took a job teaching 6th-grade social studies in Newark; I found a school of driven, caring, and hard-working teachers who taught me how to teach. As I enter my 7th year teaching and my 12th year working with students, I couldn't see myself doing anything different.