Mr. Brewer: You Think You Know Him

Mr. Brewer’s desk reflects his busy life. Photo Credit: Sarah Scherkenbach
Mr. Brewer’s desk reflects his busy life.
Photo Credit: Sarah Scherkenbach

“Education has always run in my family. It was kind of one of the things that you just fall into, and I really enjoy doing it,” explained Ryan Brewer, freshman biology teacher.

In August of 2013, Mr. Brewer joined the Bolles faculty and has had a strong impact on the Bolles community ever since.

Before he began teaching, Brewer was on the path to become a police officer. “I had it laid out to where I would’ve become a Sergeant for three years and then a detective. So that was my career path… almost.”

Mr. Brewer has always wanted to teach biology because “with teaching you have to really enjoy the subject for you to be able to teach it to somebody else. Biology is one of those things that I love. It’s science; it’s who you are as a human being. It’s kind of learning about yourself.”

It is evident that Brewer has adopted the good qualities of his former professors, and he uses them in his teaching style. “I would say my [favorite] college professor taught me anatomy and physiology. He was a great storyteller, but he was also one of those people that just kept it real with you. If you were stupid, he would call you stupid. If you did something dumb, he would call you dumb. He held you accountable for your actions, and if you didn’t perform up to the standards that he knew you could, he would call you out on it,” he reflected.

“You need that sometimes.”

Mr. Brewer admitted that he wasn’t always the great role model that he is today. His own greatest role model is his mother. “She has just always shown me life skills and how to deal with things. She’s always been that listening ear. Even when she was disciplining, I used to get in trouble a lot as a child, you could tell that she really cared and just wanted to make me a better human. Even to this day, we still have a really close relationship.”

“I like to teach freshmen because I get to see that growth within the four years. I get to see you from wide-eyed freshmen to more serious, focused, seniors. I definitely enjoy that”

When he taught a class for the first time, Brewer recalls feeling nervous, but once it was over, he says that he “was glad that I did it, and I knew that it was what I needed to be doing.”

According to Mr. Brewer, building relationships with students is his favorite aspect of teaching. He especially enjoys the differing personalities and backgrounds in his student.  “I like to teach freshmen because I get to see that growth within the four years. I get to see you from wide-eyed freshmen to more serious, focused, seniors. I definitely enjoy that,” he explained leaning back in his chair.

Brewer is also the JV basketball coach and has played basketball since around the age of five. It “has always been a sport that I have enjoyed. I played in high school; I didn’t really play in college, but I have always been around it. My dad is the head coach at my alma mater, Morehouse College, so I’ve always just learned the game from him. I enjoy being around it and teaching it. It gives me another way to build relationships with students outside the classroom. It lets me explore my passion of basketball, too.”

Mr. Brewer explains with a large grin and a chuckle that he thinks, “I’ve become a little bit more empathetic and compassionate [since I first started teaching]. I think I have started to understand the students’ point of view. It is not about as much material but about being able to learn and carry that onto the next level.”

As Mr. Brewer says at the end of each school year, “follow your passion, find out what you’re passionate about, and be happy. I think that we move so fast daily, and we don’t just focus on what makes us happy in life. If you’re happy, a lot of other things will fall into place.”