The Man Behind Room 302


I, Christian Audia, had the pleasure to interview Mr. Kelly. I was able to take a deep dive into who Mr. Kelly really is as a person and how he operates on the day-to-day.


Mr. Kelly’s teaching philosophy is one you have never experienced. He believes that every student has the potential to have a commitment to their education. This all stems from being in a good mood and being physically and mentally resilient. He loves to encourage people to be themselves, because when you are in a good mood, you have a level of responsibility that makes you keen to being the best student. “A free person learns nothing by compulsion,” which was written by Socrates. This is a quote that guides Mr. Kelly’s teaching; if you are being yourself, there is no worry in the world since you are living authentically and truthfully.


Mr. Kelly started his journey off as a pre-med major. However he did not feel a connection to his science classes. Like everyone else in college, you are required to take courses; which is where he found his niche in English. He had a required English course that he fell in love with. One of his friends, who he is still friends with today, told him about how he saw a sizable difference in his happiness once he began his English classes. This really opened up Mr. Kelly’s eyes which then made him realize that pre-med wasn’t his passion, but English was. 


Within his niche for English Literature, he would attend an event called The Robert Frost Convention. It takes place on the last day of school, and it lasts a whole week. He attends poetry classes from 8 AM to 9 PM. The people who teach the classes are five contemporary poets who he says strengthen him as a poet. He says the course is very intense, but it transformed him in a way like no other. “The conversation [with the poets] is worth it,” says Kelly. He said even though it’s $1,000 to go, it’s definitely made him the teacher he is today.


As well as poetry, Mr. Kelly loves jazz music. I had the opportunity to ask Mr. Kelly what the essence of jazz really is; he says “it’s a great model for democracy, individual expression, and responsibility. It gives you the freedom to be yourself, and not to be a soloist.” Unknown to many, he actually plays guitar for a jazz band that he is a part of. It brings him so much joy when he plays and is an outlet that he is able to use in order to express himself.