December Top Notch Teacher

LA CROSSE, Wis. — A science teacher at central high school in La Crosse is making learning fun for his students.

They say his teaching style is like no other, and that’s what makes him great.

“Wasn’t ever really planning on being a teacher. But, I absolutely love it. It’s amazing,” said Mike Bechtel, Central High School Science Teacher.


Inside this science classroom, learning is fueled by Mr. Bechtel’s enthusiasm.

“Totally I feed off their energy. So, when they get excited, I get excited and pretty soon we’re yelling.”

Central Senior Alyssa Gilbertson describes Mr. Bechtel’s class as “More interactive and you learn based on how willing you are to learn.”

As a teacher he pushes kids to achieving new successes.

“He tells you straight up, he wants you to succeed in his class and in life. He doesn’t just want to give you hard homework,” said Tou Long Vue, Junior at Central High School.

Mr. Bechtel encourages participation in his classes. “I like to see that they’re not afraid to make mistakes.” “A lot of times I’ll say, you know what, I can’t take away your birthday, go ahead and try. So I just want them to try, give me the wrong answer. At least I’ll know which way you’re thinking.”

“It was really challenging for me to do chemistry. But, after having his class I learned how to do it and how to teach others to do it, too,” said Central Senior, Emily Patton.

Bechtel says the dedicated staff within Central’s science department excels his motivation for teaching.

“I’m a thief. I try to take a lot of ideas from a lot of people and try to make the best I can.”

“The way he teaches it relates to what we’re learning and makes it easier to remember,” said Peter Mettinger, Junior at Central.

“I want to be someone they can reach, someone they can contact and get help with whatever they need.”

Mr. Bechtel knows his enthusiasm for teaching will continue throughout his lifetime.

Right now, he’s working on earning his doctorate degree from Edgewood in Madison so he can eventually teach at the college level. He looks forward to teaching soon-to-be teachers how to be teachers.