Douglas Caines stresses his passion for education
The Rotary Club of Santa Barbara recently honored Douglas Caines for his leadership as a teacher at Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta.
Mr. Caines, whose school is part of the Santa Barbara Unified School District, was awarded a plaque and a $1,000 check for classroom needs.
“I don’t think any high school teacher gets into teaching for awards or accolades,” Mr. Caines told the News-Press. “I don’t like to toot my own harm. I am a long-term educator. I never intended to be in education, but once I found it, it was so natural.
“I don’t need outside validation, but it is nice to hear it,” he said.
Mr. Caines teaches in the Dos Pueblos career technical education media pathway, which includes courses in advanced broadcast journalism, animation and graphic design.
Prior to his teaching career, he worked as a freelance journalist, audio engineer and graphic designer.
Mr. Caines also mixed and mastered music for local artists, ran the front of the house for small plays/productions and did some print/graphic design work. And he worked for several local nonprofits with students.
Mr. Caines was the broadcast director of Santa Barbara Teen News Network and taught a media literacy program at the Westside Boys and Girls Club.
He holds a bachelor’s in business administration from American InterContinental University.
Mr. Caines told the News-Press why he’s so passionate about teaching.
“For me, it boils down to (that) I genuinely enjoy media creation of all forms,” he said. “The passion for the art form is where it starts.
“I think digital literacy is the biggest need of our young people today. I am a father of three, so I am speaking personally and professionally,” he said.
“Kids get a lot of adult messages from the computers that we carry in our pockets. Digital literacy is understanding versus decoding and analytical thinking. I find opportunities to use teachable moments to share with young people the ramifications of their decisions.
“I am trying my best to support them in their journey of digital literacy,” Mr. Caines explained. “The decoding components of critical thinking around consumption, lack decoding and critical thinking from young people.”
His teaching career began when he started coaching football at Santa Barbara High School during the 2006-07 season. He taught at Santa Barbara High School from 2008-2014, after which he moved to Dos Pueblos.
Mr. Caines quoted Aristotle: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Mr. Caines continued: “If you are looking to be excellent, it is habit, dedication, determination and gumption. As teachers, we are in the same boat. You have to dedicate yourself to your craft as a teacher. I try to practice what I preach.
“Practice makes permanent. This is a reminder to me to continue to examine what I am doing and make sure what I am doing is working.”
Mr. Caines was nominated by Dos Pueblos High School Principal Bill Woodard for the Rotary Club honor.
“Doug Caines is deserving of recognition for his enthusiasm, expertise, and countless hours of devotion to giving our Dos Pueblos media students real-world experiences creating videos, live-streaming events, and learning the ins and outs of being a media professional,” Mr. Woodard said. “He is supportive, patient and committed, and above all, his students respect him and know he is always in their corner. ”
And Mr. Caines received praise from the Rotary Club.
“The Rotary Club of Santa Barbara has a long tradition of supporting youth and educators in our community. Honoring outstanding teachers like Mr. Caines is an example of our commitment,” said Michael Baker, the Rotary Club’s president and CEO of the United Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara County.
Mr. Caines thanked someone close to him for her help.
“For my kids to be doing well and for me to be recognized, I would like to thank my wife, who has worked and held down the household as I have worked long hours on the football field and long nights with students,” Mr. Caines said. “There is no way I could do this without her support.”