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Adaptive physical education & a Sandwich homecoming | Teachers' Lounge Podcast

Cara Ryan - P.E. teacher in Sandwich, Illinois!
Peter Medlin
Cara Ryan - P.E. teacher in Sandwich, Illinois!

As I record the intro to this new episode of Teachers’ Lounge, I’m in my car at Dummer Elementary School in Sandwich, Illinois. Longtime listeners of this show might know that I’m from Sandwich. I can see baseball fields I played at and a few schools I went to from where I’m sitting. I went to this school, Dummer, for 4th and 5th grade!

The reason I’m here now is that this week on the show is Cara Ryan! She’s a physical education teacher who specializes in adaptive P.E. for students with disabilities. She’s also taught 4th and 5th grade general physical education in Sandwich at Dummer for nearly a decade.

And, nearly 10 years ago, I helped teach P.E. with Cara at this same school! In my senior year of high school, I got the chance to help her out, work on some lesson plans, all that good stuff. For the host of a podcast called Teachers’ Lounge, this was as close as I’ve ever gotten to being a teacher. And this is where I used to park in the afternoon when I came to help set up a capture the flag game or something. I think that was one of my lesson plans. I remember it going well! I’ll tell the story of how I got to help her teach 4th and 5th grade and we’ll catch up about how Cara has changed as a teacher in the near decade since I’ve seen her and talk about her passion for adaptive physical education.

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, August 26th 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:

Cara Ryan

Stories in this episode:

Ukrainian students visit sister city of Rockford for respite from war

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.