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Bernie Niebauer

<p>Congratulations Bernie Niebauer from Cochranton Jr. Sr. High School she was nominated by Monica Mumau.</p>

Mr. Niebauer has changed the way that I view school. Though I have had many teachers in the past that have helped me to learn various subjects, I believe that what Mr. Niebauer has taught me perhaps outweighs it all.

Even though he is an amazing geometry teacher, he has taught me two life lessons that no other teacher has before. Sometime during a students' high school career, he or she asks themselves "Why in the world am I learning this if I'll never use it outside of school?" I too, would ask myself that question at least once a week while sitting in a class that was learning something that I deemed useless and unimportant for me to know. One day while sitting in geometry class, someone asked Mr. Niebauer why we had to learn geometry if we weren't planning on pursuing a career that had anything to do with it. I've heard other students ask different teachers that before and most of them just brush off the question or say that because the government wants you to learn it; so I was surprised when Mr. Niebauer stopped teaching and gave our class an answer that I'll never forget. After he set down his marker, he paused for a moment and said "Why not? What's wrong with learning something just for the sake of learning it?" He went on to explain how most people don't want to learn something because they don't believe that they'll need that knowledge later on in life and because of that, they miss out on all of the opportunities to grow and become a well-rounded person. As he continued to explain how learning something just for the sake of it makes us become more knowledgeable and helps us to make connections between different subjects I began to realize that he was right. After his lecture, I began to view school differently. When it came time to learn about the Krebs Cycle in biology class, I didn't groan inwardly but instead opened my mind and enjoyed the fact that even though I would probably never have to use this information again in the future, I was becoming more knowledgeable by learning it.

The second life lesson that Mr. Niebauer taught me is to get everything that you can out of high school. Some students don't take school seriously and tell themselves that they'll just start to pay attention in college. After a student told him that, he said "Why not try your best right now?" He explained how lucky we are because we don't have to pay for classes, tests, or textbooks like college students. If we don't apply ourselves right now it will be even harder to do that once we get into college and a lot of money is at stake. After he said that, I remembered all of the various times in the past when I simply didn't work as hard as I could of because I figured that it wasn't that important. I realized that if I didn't change those bad habits now then I would regret it later on in life when it really would matter.

Mr. Niebauer is an astounding geometry teacher. Though his sense of humor and great teaching skills never fails to make class enjoyable, I'll always remember him as the teacher that taught me what school is really about. I can honestly say that because of him, I have become a better student.

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