Jack Nieters ’17 smiled as he walked across the stage during St. Cloud State University’s spring commencement to claim his degree knowing that instead of putting academic life behind him, it’s moving to the forefront.
After student teaching this spring at Apollo High School, the Sartell native was comforted by the fact he had a job already lined up after graduation.
“I feel extremely relieved knowing that I will be able to enjoy my summer and won’t have to stress about finding a job and where to go next with my life,” he said.
Nieters will teach ninth grade physical science at New Ulm High School starting this fall.
The physics education major has been involved with teaching his whole life. From swimming lessons to tutoring physics and math, teaching has always been a part of who he is.
“Ever since I was a kid I have wanted to help others succeed around me,” he said.
“Through student teaching I have gained a far greater respect and knowledge of what it takes to be a teacher and how to always have fun with class and make lessons engaging,” he said.
Through the School of Education I was able to learn not only the best methods or the most practical methods, but I also learned how to inspire and how to foster a community in my classroom. Making classes a community that will help everyone succeed, Nieters added.
After high school, Nieters planned to pursue engineering, but came to St. Cloud State after careful consideration of his passion in life, teaching.
“As I thought more and more about what I wanted out of life, I kept coming back to teaching, specifically teaching physics,” he said. “When I compared the education that I would be getting from different schools I found that St. Cloud State had more of what I wanted. (St. Cloud State) has an amazing teaching program, a great physics department and the diversity that would help me throughout my teaching career that I wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else.”
Physics education majors at St. Cloud State work closely with the physics department and the School of Education, taking classes from both areas to ensure the completion of courses to earn a teaching license.
St. Cloud State also offers continuing education opportunities for teachers like its STEM education graduate certificate, among other teaching specialties.
The STEM education program is a multi-disciplinary program that instructs teachers on ways they can incorporate STEM concepts into their elementary classrooms.
As Nieters returned to his seat at commencement with part of his academic career behind him, he flipped his tassel ready to make an impact on the next generation of students.
“I’m excited to get started,” he said.