Mr. Brandon Jones has been quietly making a huge difference at Rockhurst. This year, he has been working hard with many different activities, but especially at the tech desk and with the Hurtado scholars. In this 8 question Q&A, Mr. Jones talks about his love for music, working with the Hurtado scholars, and his goals for the future.
Why did you decide to become a teacher?
I am passionate about literature and writing, and I knew that first and foremost I wanted to work with young people and have the same impact other teachers had on me.
Why type of instruments have you played/do you play? How did you get involved with them?
Drums, but they weren’t my first instrument. I played the trumpet all the way through my sophomore year of high school. I played with the marching band and concert band. However, In high school I started to really want to play the drums in large part because of bands like Nirvana, the Smashing Pumpkins, and especially the Flaming Lips.
How has music influenced your teaching?
Being a musician forces you to be creative, and with that I challenge my students to be the same. I try to push beyond the same old same old, and I want to push myself to be different than other teachers, just like how I want to be different than other drummers.
What appeals you about drums?
I like the rhythm, and the ability to control the band. Drums allow me to be creative and to master my craft. I love how, with drums, you can be as creative as you want or as simple as you want. In my opinion, it is the most important instrument in the band because it keeps the rhythm.
What has been your defining moment as teacher and why?
There wasn’t a single moment, but over the 10 years of teaching I have learned a lot. That’s one of the reasons I love teaching—every day is different and it’s not like working in a cubicle where you have to do the same thing everyday. It’s exciting and through that, I really started to develop overtime.
Why did you start working with the Hurtado scholars?
I want every kid to have an opportunity to go to a school like Rockhurst. I think that they should get that opportunity, and if they succeed, they should be given what they earned. I grew up with a lower middle class family in Iowa. I think that influences my willingness to volunteer in this program, and help influence young people’s lives
What have you learned from working with them?
I learned that it doesn’t matter where you come from, or what situation you are put in, you can still succeed if you are given the resources. We are all very lucky to be in these surroundings and we should accept the guys into our community with open arms.
What do you want to accomplish in the future?
Since I primarily work with teachers now, I would love to go back to teaching students in the next couple of years. I love this job, but in the future I want to go back to inspiring young people.