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Crocheted opossums, fighting for your students, & student teaching at your old high school | Teachers' Lounge Podcast

On a new Teachers’ Lounge: Rachel Metcalfe!

She’s had a busy few months between getting a Master’s Degree, securing her first full-time teaching job, and finishing up student teaching at her old high school! As you can imagine, that brought about a lot of emotions.

"It was possibly the strangest thing. I loved it. I was so grateful to do my internship there. Just to be mentored by the people who taught me English and who had to deal with the essays that I used to write when I was 16," she said. "And I apologize to them as soon as I got my first stack of essays I had to grade. I went into their English office and was like 'I am so sorry for what I put you through, because what I'm reading; God helped me! God help you!"

We talk all about that, connecting with her students by showing them her old pictures before they can find them online to roast her, dad jokes, alligators, opossums and much more.

We also spend time on some serious issues like how much connecting with those kids has meant to her and what a hard few months it’s been for teachers — especially after the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

We cover a lot of ground, the tone jumps around a bit between serious and heartwarming and funny -- because that’s what it’s like to be in a classroom with kids every day.

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 or deserve a spotlight in your community. 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. Our next episode airs on Friday, July 29 at 11 a.m. on 89-5 FM and right here WNIJ.org. Tune in on the last Friday of the month at the same time for future episodes.


Educator(s) in this episode:

Rachel Metcalfe

Stories in this episode:

'It really doesn't do anything to repair the harm': How Rockford schools wield a lesser-known form of exclusionary discipline

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.