Matthew Haid: Leading Students into the 21st Century

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A great teacher can change what students think about school. They inspire students, re-engage them in learning and model good character. ResponsiveEd’s Clay Classical Academy history teacher Matthew Haid finds fulfillment in helping students develop into well-rounded individuals with strong character and sense of responsibility.

”My heart has always been for children. I had a number of majors in college, but I realized that my ultimate goal was always to work with children and help them in a variety of ways. I eventually came to the conclusion that the best way to help children is by teaching them,” he said.

Mr. Haid believes every student can learn even if it requires the teacher to learn something new as well.

“A few years ago I had a student that spoke almost no English, only Portuguese. So I made a deal with him — he had to learn to speak English and I would learn to speak Portuguese. By the end of the year, he was speaking English and was always proud to have something to say. Meeting a student where they are is crucial in the educational process,” said Mr. Haid.

As a sixth-eighth grade history teacher, Mr. Haid recognizes the vital importance of understanding the past. Students can only appreciate the present and make sound judgments about their futures if they understand the foundation on which they stand. He hopes that by  introducing them to the great intellectual traditions of Western Civilization, his students will be able to learn more about the human experience.

“I want them to see the world through a much bigger lens and lose that small, self-centered mindset,” he said.

Having a relationship with his students is what allows him to be an effective teacher, and Mr. Haid credits ResponsiveEd’s smaller class sizes with making that possible. He also values ResponsiveEd’s strong curriculum, which enables him to expose students to history’s rich content.

“Clay’s Core Knowledge curriculum allows me to teach outside the confines of grade-level TEKS. Core Knowledge is a classical curriculum and gives students an opportunity to study some historical time periods they otherwise wouldn’t dive into until high school or college,” he said.

He also appreciates that what he teaches is supported and added to by the range of other subjects his students are studying.

“Clay focuses on the Humanities: art, music, architecture and philosophy. These subjects are no longer part of a standard K-12 education. The benefit to students is immense. All in all, ResponsiveEd is a highly motivated company that is continuing to grow and expand. I feel that the success we have already enjoyed shows how successful we can be in the future inspiring our students to achieve complete success in all they do. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?” he said.

Since coming to Clay Classical Academy, Mr. Haid has found a community that strives together to make sure every individual accomplishes their goals and attains great success.

“Throughout my tenure at Clay, I have felt empowered to determine for myself what teaching styles will be most successful in motivating my students, and have been granted the freedom to adapt. I have never once been told that I must fall into lock-step with other practices or teaching models. In many ways, Clay allows me to be an entrepreneur in the classroom,” Mr. Haid says.

Along these same lines, Mr. Haid singles out the multiple opportunities for career development his tenure at Clay has afforded him.

“I very much enjoy being very involved with the students on my campus. From teaching to moderating Student Council and coaching five sports teams, I’m privileged to be able to interact with students in a number of different ways, and on a daily basis that facilities the building of real relationships. These and other leadership opportunities at Clay have only helped me grow in my own abilities and allowed me to be of even greater benefit to each student,” he said.

Mr. Haid has been a teacher for three years. He holds a Master’s in Religion from Duke University and is currently pursuing his Master’s in Educational Administration at Dallas Baptist University.

Whether you’re a new teacher, a seasoned educator or a content expert looking to make the transition to teaching, if you can see yourself at a ResponsiveEd school, visit our website to learn about our open positions.

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