When Greg Bauer found out he was named Seneca High School’s Teacher of the Year for the 2011–2012 school year, he was “totally floored.”
“I’m totally blown away by it,” Bauer said. “I’m humbled by it.”
He noted he is surrounded by a lot of great teachers at Seneca who love kids.
“To be chosen from this staff is pretty amazing,” he said.
Bauer has taught environmental earth science at Seneca since it opened nine years ago. He has been teaching 13 years overall.
A Southampton native, he attended Lenape High School.
Bauer said he comes from a family of teachers.
“That was certainly part of it,” he said of his choice to be a teacher.
Bauer went to North Carolina State University and was planning to study medicine, but he says he discovered that wasn’t what he wanted to do with his life. He said he liked the idea of working with kids.
Bauer took education courses in college and “kind of immediately figured out” that’s what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.
He said something as simple as daily interaction with kids is the most rewarding part of his job.
“I get the opportunity to work with kids every day and help them in their journey through school,” Bauer said. “I get a lot of joy out of that.”
He also enjoys having former students tell him of their success.
“It’s a neat experience,” Bauer said. “It’s very rewarding.”
Budget problems in the last few years, the drying up of state money and an increase in class sizes provide the biggest challenges for him as a teacher, Bauer says.
“We’ve had to maintain or get better at what we do with less resources,” he said.
Bauer said his advice to someone considering teaching is to make sure you love working with kids all day, every day.
“I think that’s a big part of it,” he said. “If they’re going into it for that reason, then they’re going to have a very rewarding career.”
Bauer said he appreciates the opportunity of working with all kinds of young people, from special ed kids to honors students.
“I’m always trying to get better at what I do,” he said, noting he tweaks what he does every year and tries to follow trends in education.
A head wrestling coach and assistant baseball coach at Seneca, Bauer said he tries to teach things outside the classroom.
“That’s a big part of what we do as educators,” he said. “Part of our job is to not only teach kids the content, but also to teach kids to work hard, to teach kids to set goals. I think as educators, we try to teach kids a lot of life skills that they’ll take with them, hopefully for the rest of their lives. I think that part of our job is sometimes as important — if not more important — than teaching our content material.”