Meet the December COSP Educator of the Month

Brian Kelly teaches at Building Futures Academy, part of SJCOE County Operated Schools and Programs

Congratulations to Brian Kelly the December Educator of the Month from San Joaquin County Office of Education County Operated Schools and Programs!

Brian, a current math instructor at SJCOE’s Building Futures Academy, has over eight years of experience working in alternative education.  Brian chose alternative education because his teenage years were “pretty rough” and he believes those experiences bring a unique perspective and understanding to serving at-risk youth.  Here's what Brian has to say about his experience as a teacher.

What are your students surprised to learn about you?

Students are surprised to learn that I live near a ski resort and drive an hour and a half to get to work. Sometimes the snow in my yard is eight feet deep and I have to dig my truck out of snow, but it is worth it.  Building Futures Academy is a great program and the staff are great.


What do you love about teaching? 

Teaching is my second career; I was a general building contractor before teaching. I chose teaching because learning is such a positive goal. Even as a contractor I remember enjoying teaching rookies how to swing a hammer or cut a board.


What is the best thing that has happened in your classroom the past month? 

I have tough kids and adults who come from some of the most brutal living situations.  The best thing to happen in my classroom this month is something that happens every Friday when we play math games and my students are laughing, smiling, and having fun with education. For that one class period they are just young adults having fun at school; a place in their past that was often associated with failure.


Who was your favorite teacher as a child? Why? 

My favorite teacher growing up was homeroom middle school teacher Mr. Tarren. He was a history teacher and always brought in historical artifacts. He must have had a garage of the stuff. Regardless, He noticed that I was able to get A’s in all my classes with little effort so he put me in all advanced classes the following year.  I was pretty mad about it at the time, but looking back he did me a favor.

Posted: 12/20/2017