Junior high or middle school can be a challenging time - for students and the people who teach them. But a man in the Schertz - Cibolo - University City School District choose to be a Jr. High teacher to make a difference.

Science teacher Matt Wagner is facing a bigger challenge than any of his students and he’s using his experience to teach a life lesson.

This is Matt Wagner's twelfth year in the classroom - ten of them at Corbett Junior High. Teaching science to seventh graders is where he wants to be.

“This is that one pivotal moment when you can really make a difference in a student's life that can either set them up for failure or success. Whatever was difficult for a student , I want to help them see that that's just a challenge for the future that they're going to be able to take care of.” Said Wagner.

“My science grade last year was like in the 70s and 80s but this year it's increased to the 90s so I think that's because of mainly him,” said seventh grader Antonio Posada.

“I tell them I want you to be better today than you were yesterday,” said Wagner. He teaches them to strive for improvement in all areas of their life.

“We have stuff right there posters like what we want as a class to do like we want people to respect us,” said seventh grader Angelina Hall.

Watching Wagner laugh with his students you'd never know he's battling cancer. “Right now it's not remission but it's monitoring so we'll see how that goes,” said Wagner.

He is currently undergoing treatments - and this young married father is using this as a teaching moment, too.

“I feel like it's a blessing because I've been able to use it to help get thru to other people who are going thru tough situations.We all have things going on in our lives. but if a person with cancer can still show up with a smile and have a happy day, so can you so don't let those things hold you down,” said Wagner.

A valuable life lesson from a man who always lifts his students up.