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Some of our favorite conversations of 2021 | Teachers' Lounge Podcast

Peter Medlin

2021 has been quite a year for education, to say the least — so it feels only right that it's been quite a year for Teachers' Lounge too.

Our podcast continued having in-depth, fun, empathetic conversations with educators across Illinois and the country. Those interviews highlighted important issues and perspectives especially important as educators try to teach through the pandemic. Those conversations are only possible thanks to you, our Teachers' Lounge listeners. Every single educator we've had on the show is nominated by the people who listen. You can nominate inspirational educators by emailing us at teacherslounge@niu.edu.

This year, we also held live conversations over Facebook talking with students and administrators about pandemic learning and taking listener questions. Teachers' Lounge launched a newsletter (which you can subscribe to here), and the show made its debut as a monthly radio show. I even interviewed my mom!

We have even more coming up in 2022, but before the New Year — we want to look back on a few of our favorite conversations of 2021.

This episode includes three interviews and one bonus feature story we're excited to share.

We’re revisiting my chat with art teacher & comic book author Marcel Walker! He’s an artist and co-creator of the educational comic series “CHUTZ-POW! Superheroes of the Holocaust” with the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh.

Along with that, we've got my conversation with Rheon Gibson -- an elementary school principal, former school counselor & children’s book author. Finally, our last conversation of the day is with Jeff Pitner -- a high school psychology teacher and coach of their acclaimed esports team.

I sincerely hope you've enjoyed the show this past year. Here's to more conversations — and, more importantly, here's to the educators who make this show possible and keep their students learning whether in-person or on their 30,000th Zoom call of the year.


Peter Medlin
Teachers' Lounge Host & Education Reporter



Educator in this episode:

Marcel Walker

Rheon Gibson

Jeff Pitner

Stories featured in this episode:

How does the school bus driver shortage affect students? We took a ride along to school to find out.

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.