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Sign language interpreting and inclusive science | Teachers' Lounge Radio Show

Spencer Tritt

Our podcast Teachers’ Lounge is on the radio! We’ve got all the interviews with Illinois teachers and education stories you love -- along with exclusive segments -- in a monthly, hour-long show on WNIJ.

Important programming note: the Teachers’ Lounge Radio show now airs the last Friday of each month at noon. You’ll also be able to tune in and hear the show again the following morning, Saturday, at 6 a.m. You can listen right here, right now too!

On this episode, Waubonsee Community College biology professor Dr. Sheela Vemu has a message she shares at the beginning of every class.

“Not only is science is for everyone, understanding and appreciating science is something everyone can do.”

We talk about making science accessible for all and the amazing research her community college students are doing.

We also sit down with Jill Kelly. She’s a special ed teacher who teaches deaf and hard of hearing kids at the Huntley Community School District and is a sign language interpreter who has interpreted everything from political speeches to dog obedience classes to karate.

“You know, I could sign ‘round’ ‘house’ ‘kick’ or I could kind of just do one. So, I have to know what a roundhouse kick is and I have to know what a knife-hand block is.”

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. Every educator we have on Teachers’ Lounge, 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 show!

Don’t worry – the podcast isn’t going anywhere. You can still catch episodes every other Friday on WNIJ.org or wherever you get podcasts.

Peter joins WNIJ as a graduate of North Central College. He is a native of Sandwich, Illinois.