From Language Arts To Rap Battles: The Last Wordbender | Teachers' Lounge Podcast

May 15, 2020

On a new Teachers’ Lounge, seventh grade language arts teacher Justin Saichek AKA The Last Wordbender. Justin is a rapper and spoken word artist who teaches at West Middle School in Rockford.

Justin talked to host Peter Medlin about how he got his rap name, teaching in the same building he went to middle school, coronavirus learning challenges, freestyle rap battles, and they dove deep on Justin’s hip hop career and music influences.

Stay tuned until the end of the episode or click the play button below to hear his song “Adrian.”

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.

Credit Spencer Tritt


Educator(s) in this episode:

Justin Saichek

Stories Featured in this episode:

Mourning The Lost Seasons Of The Spring Without Sports


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: