Math, Science, Robotics Teacher
“One thing I love about teaching and robotics is perseverance..."
Brian Jones originally studied engineering, and though he remained interested in the field, he found himself most passionate about his summer internships working with youth. Jones had considered becoming a math teacher previously, and after considering what felt most meaningful, he decided to make the change to teaching.
“I thought, you know what, I could teach something I love to do and interact with kids and guide them, so I switched to teaching. It was more of a soul-searching thing — a chance for me to do something I was more passionate about.”
Jones began his career working at a public school and though he felt supported by the administration, he had to divert away from spiritual topics and felt that it limited his connection with students.
“I didn’t have that other dynamic of the relationship with the student that I really wanted,” Jones said. “Just academics, sports and robotics, but I really wanted the spiritual side as well, so when I came to the Academy I got the other side, and there was that depth that was more of what I wanted to do.”
Though Jones is known throughout the school for leading the robotics club, he originally wasn’t interested in teaching engineering, but after a group of students in his class persuaded him to become a sponsor, the program began to take shape.
“After many months of begging, I finally agreed. I wanted to start coaching, and then all of the sudden here comes robotics. So I thought, let’s go for it.”
Working with the robotics program, Jones is excited he is able to incorporate his passion of working kids and his background studying engineering.
“This program is unlike any other. It is not just some courses, but it is an after-school academic endeavor. They learn 3-D printing, computer design, design techniques — stuff people in college would want to do. And we do it right here in high school.”
Along with technical skills and projects, Jones uses robotics to teach students about other areas of life.
“One thing I love about teaching and robotics is perseverance. I always tell my students there is no luck; it’s only when preparation meets opportunity. A lot of us think that when things happen it was luck, but I believe it comes from our preparation. In robotics it comes to our practice time and our building times — that is your hard work and perseverance paying off.”