JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — A career change led Eric Wondergem to discover the joys of teaching.

The calculus teacher at Science Hill High School began as a software engineer before trading the cubicle for a classroom 15 years ago.

“It’s so energizing having students who are enthusiastic about learning and who see it as a useful tool for something they are going to do with their lives,” he said.

Wondergem teachers 25 students per class, mentoring groups of young mathematicians in pre-calculus and calculus. Lessons prepare the learners for the calculus exam.

Banners hang throughout the classroom filled with the names of former students who aced the exam.

“A lot of [students] know…the students from last year’s class, and so they can see that they did it, and it will inspire them to do it, too,” Wondergem said.

As the new school year begins, students are just beginning their pressure-packed math journey, but they aren’t walking alone.

“We’re on a journey together — that’s what I try to pass on to the students,” Wondergem said. “I’m learning; you’re learning. I’ll make mistakes; you make mistakes. But we are having fun doing it.”

Congratulations to this week’s Educator of the Week, Eric Wondergem.

To nominate an educator, click here.