From Student To Teacher: Experiencing COVID From Both Sides | Teachers' Lounge Podcast

Jan 8, 2021

This Week: Another edition of Student Teachers’ Lounge! Host Peter Medlin talked to Taylor Leach, who has experienced the pandemic as both a student and as a teacher. She just graduated with a master’s degree from Northern Illinois University and finished up student teaching at Kingston Elementary School in Genoa, Illinois.

They talked about her plans for the future as she heads into the job market in the middle of the weirdest school year ever, how her trial-by-fire year as a student and student teacher actually reconfirmed her desire to be in the classroom and how substitute teaching remotely is like playing “whack-a-mole” with the mute button.

Speaking of students, through a Freedom of Information Act request, WNIJ received a bunch of responses from anonymous DeKalb High School students on a survey that asked them, “What ideas do you have to help you be more succesful in school?”

Their answers paint a picture of students doing their best to learn from home during a pandemic, giving a few ideas of how to make it better and also venting some understandable frustrations. Hear those responses on the podcast.

Of course, we want you, our listeners, to be a part of the show. Send us an email at to nominate a teacher in your life to be on our show. While you’re there, tell us how you’re feeling about in-person or virtual school this winter. And, if you want, record your thoughts and feelings into your phone with your voice memos app, then send the file to and we could feature it on the podcast!


Educator in this episode:

Taylor Leach

Stories Featured in this episode:

'I'm Just Stressed Out All The Time': High School Survey Shows Social-Emotional Impact Of COVID-19

School Social Workers Reflect On Emotional & Academic Toll Of COVID-19


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: