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A Zoomed Out Picture Of Education From Leaders Who Oversee Dozens Of School Districts | Teachers' Lounge Podcast

On a new Teachers’ Lounge, we’re climbing to the top of the ladder to chat with two education leaders who can give us a statewide perspective. We’re chatting with Chris Tennyson, who is a regional superintendent, meaning he oversees dozens of school districts in three counties. He took an unusual path to become a teacher. He started as a police officer for 10 years and then found his calling in education.

“I remember walking in that first day, and I had 48 students staring at. It is one of the scariest things I've ever been in – and I had been in three shootings!” he said. “So, there was nothing dangerous about standing there, but it was very intimidating. And my first year I had a blast, but it was rough.”

We’ve also got a shorter conversation with Mark Klaisner, who is the president of the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools. He joins the show to talk to us about how schools are betting on micro-credentials -- short, online teacher and staff development programs -- to help their students stay on track through the pandemic.

If you’ve never listened before, our show is based on an idea -- we’ve all had teachers in our lives who shaped who we are. And we want to hear about the teachers who inspired you. Every educator we have on this podcast, whether teacher, coach, counselor or professor, is nominated by our listeners.

So, tell us about the person who comes to your mind. Shoot us an email and nominate an educator at teacherslounge@niu.edu and they could be on the podcast! And subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to speed on everything to do with the show.

Also, Teachers’ Lounge is now on the radio! The podcast won’t change one bit, but you can now catch the show as an hour-long radio program every month on WNIJ. We’ll have multiple guests, stories, and new segments to hear. Listen to the first edition of the Teachers’ Lounge radio show on Friday, October 29 at 11 a.m. on 89-5 FM or right here WNIJ.org. Tune in the last Friday of the month at the same time for future episodes.


Educator(s) in this episode: Chris Tennyson

Mark Klaisner

Stories featured in this episode:

'A person, as well as a priceless antiquity': the only public high school with a 2,000-year-old mummy is in Illinois

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.