How To Be Present Teaching & Learning To Laugh At Smuggled Toasters |Teachers' Lounge Podcast

May 29, 2020

Editor’s Note: WNIJ and our podcast Teachers’ Lounge are giving a platform for you to hear some of valedictorian speeches students may not get to give in person this year. It’s called “Dear Class of 2020...” If you want your school to be a part of our special edition show, send us an email at And thanks!

This week Marilyn Moltz is on the show. She’s been teaching English in DeKalb for around 30 years! Marilyn and host Peter Medlin covered a lot of ground in their conversation -- from her e-learning experience (especially since she broke her ankle just before quarantine), how to be present in a sea of high schoolers, and how her approach and perspective with kids changes as she moves through her life.

They also talked about smuggling toasters and cheese poetry. You’re just going to have to stay tuned to know what we’re talking about.

And as mentioned, speeches from the class valedictorian are essential for high school graduation ceremonies. Since many won’t have the chance this year to give them in person, Peter talked to a few valedictorians about their speeches -- and their reflections on the weirdest senior year ever. You can look forward to hearing their full speeches as part of “Dear Class of 2020…”

In the meantime, we want you to be a part of the show. We want to hear from you: students, parents, teachers. Send us an email at and tell us what it’s been like learning or teaching from home. And, if you want, record your thoughts & feelings into your phone with your voice memos app and then send the voice file to and we’ll have it on the show. You can also email us their to nominate teachers to be featured on the show!

Credit Spencer Tritt


Educator(s) in this episode:

Marilyn Moltz

Stories Featured in this episode:

A Message From High School Valedictorians Of The Coronavirus Class


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: