Kirstin Czerwiec

Kirstin Czerwiec — February 06, 2024

Meet our new Math Teacher in Residence, John!

This summer we had the pleasure of growing our NumWorks family by adding an additional Math Teacher in Residence, John!

Image of John

How long have you been a teacher?

I started teaching in 1989 in Granville County, NC. I taught middle and high school there for 7 years before coming to teach high school in Wake County, NC, where I taught high school math until I retired in 2023, interrupted only by teaching preservice teachers at NC State University for 4 years.

Which subject is your favorite?

I always loved having a schedule that included an advanced-level class and an early-level class. The contrast helped me with both groups - being mindful of the early-level students kept my eye on learning for the advanced-level group, and working at the higher level reminded me to push my early-level learners to maximize their potential.

Why did you choose to join the NumWorks team?

When I retired from the classroom, I wanted to find an opportunity to remain connected to teaching math, and I found the NumWorks calculator to be a product I can sincerely support.

What do you hope to accomplish in your first year at NumWorks?

I hope to show teachers that technology can be a companion and support to student learning as well as a tool to investigate phenomena and get results. When the technology is intuitive and easy to approach, it is less likely to interfere with students’ mathematical learning.

What is your favorite NumWorks app?

This is a difficult choice. The design of all the apps is well thought-out to be intuitive for a learner as they investigate the world of mathematics. I think my favorite is the Regression app. After a dataset has been entered, the steps to generate a regression model follow a natural progression - look at the graph of the data, choose a model from your observations of the data behavior, and clearly see the relationship between the model and the data.

What is your favorite feature of the calculator?

The auto-zoom-and-trace in the Grapher is probably my favorite feature. When the discussion is about the features of a function, learners go straight from the equation to a graph that includes the important key points!

With other devices, problems can occur from a -10 to 10 domain and range for the graph. When students Zoom Out enough to see any points on the graph, all details are lost. The time and mental energy required to find the graph can leave behind the focus of finding the features.

What do you want to tell teachers?

I want to tell teachers that I understand that learning a new tool is demanding, but this tool is so powerful for student learning that the demand is worth it. Students will be able to dedicate more of their mental bandwidth to the math at hand if the tool is intuitive and user-friendly. We all win!