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Everybody needs a coach -- even teachers | Teachers' Lounge Podcast

Mike Winebrenner

On a brand-new episode of Teachers’ Lounge, everybody needs a coach -- including your teachers. We’re chatting with Mike Winebrenner. He’s an instructional coach at North Boone High School in Poplar Grove, Illinois.

Mike spent over two decades as a history teacher and now he coaches teachers to help them help their students.

“We can spend entire careers standing by ourselves in a room full of students with nobody to bounce ideas off,” he said. “And that's a shame.”

He talks about how sometimes his most productive coaching sessions start off with a good old-fashioned gripe session.

“I don't want it to turn into ‘What's wrong with the kids. What's wrong with the classroom,’” said Winebrenner. “A lot of times from that gripe session we’ll say, ‘Well, this is my No. 1 thing. It's student engagement. They're just not engaged.' Okay, there we go! We have our goal. Now, what are some things that we can do to try to improve student engagement?”

Here about how Mike is helping teachers celebrate their students’ success, work together, and trust the process.

If you’ve never listened to Teachers’ Lounge 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 please subscribe to our Teachers' Lounge newsletter right here where you can stay up to speed on the show and share stories you think we should cover!

Also, Teachers’ Lounge is on the radio! Catch the show as an hour-long radio program, every month LIVE on 89-5 FM and streaming at WNIJ.org. We have multiple guests, stories, and exclusive segments. Tune in on the last Friday of the month at noon for future episodes. Our next episode airs on Friday, December 26th at noon and the next day, December 27th at 6 a.m.

Teachers' Lounge Podcast
Peter Medlin
Teachers' Lounge Podcast


Educator in this episode:

Mike Winebrenner

Stories in this episode:

Illinois devoted $25 million in federal COVID funding to a tutoring program. How has it worked so far?

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 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.