The connection between secondary teaching and professional rugby may not seem immediately obvious for some people, but for Hayden Reid, the transition from a professional rugby career into teaching was a natural one. A talented player and passionate about rugby, Hayden graduated from Otago University, having played for the Otago NPC rugby team the ‘Highlanders’ in his last year. He went on to play for the New Zealand Sevens, travelling the world and in his words, “getting paid to do something I love”.
During the last four years of his professional career, Hayden and his wife were living in Italy. It was during this time that Hayden realised his own strong inclination to mentor; “My last few years of playing professional rugby I found myself gravitating towards the younger players – a lot of my time was spent not on myself but actually trying to help them become better, trying to help them become better at rugby, how to become better young men.” It was at this point that his next career step became obvious for Hayden. He says; “I thought what profession would be better where you could to it every day? Where you are involved with young people’s lives - making a difference for them, coaching them through life and education and that’s what led me to secondary school teaching.”
Having completed the Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Secondary) at BTI, Hayden is now teaching at Tauranga Boys College - teaching Math and Physical Education. He says; “I’ve found that teaching is a challenging and big learning curve. There are a lot of things that I’ve learnt from rugby about being in a team, about helping the younger people that does translate into teaching. I think it will be a lifetime of learning. Every day is different, every period is different, and every student is different. So the variety and challenge of that is ongoing.”
Reflecting on his training at BTI, Hayden says; “...what stands out to me is the heart of the people who ran the courses. What they were trying to convey was what’s in your heart, the person that you are in your own personal life, the person that you are with your family – that’s the person that is going to come through in your teaching. Hayden found BTI’s holistic approach helpful in the way it tied a link between the personal and professional. He affirms; “BTI is a great place to study, it is a great place to learn your craft of teaching. They instill a lot of confidence in you..they give you the confidence to believe that you do have a lot to offer once you get out there teaching. I’d say that the course is a full-on year, they expect a lot of you... you do get heaps out of it.”
It is obvious that Hayden cares a lot about the students he teaches. He comments, “What I am passionate about is that every day, basically every class I look at the student and I think what sort of teacher do I want to be? The biggest thing is that they’ll feel encouraged, maybe sometimes inspired. There is a real lack of encouragement – a lot of them are hearing messages about what they can’t do, about what they aren’t so that would be my fundamental, over-arching goal young people in my care – to encourage them.”
When asked what further drives him as a teacher, Hayden says “What motivates me is God, I am motivated to be a Godly man in the classroom and to be someone that does know God and to role-model that – serving the kids, looking after them. That’s a big part of what I believe is my purpose in relation to being a teacher and also in life.”
With his passion for encouraging and educating young people, it would seem that Hayden continues to be paid for doing what he loves in his new found profession.
CLICK HERE to watch our interview with Hayden Reid.