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A Song Of Psychology & Video Games Pt. 1 | Teachers' Lounge Podcast

Peter Medlin

On a new Teachers’ Lounge, it’s Jeff Pitner! He’s a psychology teacher at Guilford High School in Rockford. Pitner’s also the coach of their very successful eSports team! Peter talked with him about how much the team has grown – they’ve had 90 kids try out for 16 spots! They bring in about 100 kids a week for the video game club! Jeff also went into what it’s been like building the community over the years.

“I remember two years ago, this moment just sticks with me. This kid, it was his first time ever coming to the club. It's in the library and he walks in, he sees some kids playing games over here, some more kids playing games over there and he stops, he drops his things, he raises his hands in the air and he goes ‘My people! I’m here! I found them!’” Jeff said. “And everyone just kind of looks at him and goes, ‘Hey!' It was just a great like welcoming moment just bringing them in the fold. And then they all started singing the “Halo” theme together.”

Peter also talks with him about how his psychology classes have evolved as he’s learned about restorative justice and how the pandemic impacts the social dynamics of the classroom. In fact, Jeff was so insightful, and our conversation went for so long that we’re going to present it in two parts. So, next episode, Jeff will be back with even more good stuff.

Who is the best teacher you’ve ever had? Have you had an awesome teacher, coach or professor that inspired you who deserves a spotlight? Send your nominations to teacherslounge@niu.edu. While you're there, tell us about an education story or topic we should cover on the podcast. Also, subscribe to us and leave a rating wherever it is you listen to the show!


Educator in this episode: Jeff Pitner

Stories featured in this episode:

'Promise' Scholarship Covers Tuition And Fees For 100 Rockford Students In First Year

NIU Sees 12% Freshman Enrollment Increase, But Overall 3% Decline

Music: Our show's theme music is from the northern Illinois-based band "Kindoves" and their songs "Popn," "Origins" and "Quiche." You can find more of their music on their Soundcloud page. You can also listen to the episode of WNIJ's own Sessions from Studio A where they were featured.

Teachers! People who know teachers! People with stories about teachers! Send us an email and be part of the show! Also, send us your topic recommendations: teacherslounge@niu.edu

Peter joins WNIJ as a graduate of North Central College. He is a native of Sandwich, Illinois.