Teachers Thoughts Revealed Through Podcast ‘Class Dismissed’


Victoria Lopez and Anyiah Chambers

“What’s the biggest problem that you see facing society?” Nicolas Koepke asks.

“I would have to say working with kids I think there is a big disconnect with communication, everything is online or texting or Instagram. I feel like kids don’t know how to communicate, to solve issues or to celebrate.” Wauwatosa West Teacher of 22 years Christa Botsford explained. “Everything is taken within a picture and in turn that causes issues in friend groups and communities and that’s where most of our problems here at West stem from.”

Wauwatosa West teacher Nicolas Koepke pulls back the curtains to reveal what it’s like behind the scenes to be a teacher through his podcast ‘Class Dismissed’. 

“I said, you know what, let’s go ahead and do it. Just to get a different perspective that the students can hear about the teachers.” English teacher and swim coach Nicolas Koepke said.

The podcast has been a work in progress since the beginning of the year with the pilot episode debuting in late October. 

“I had kind of been waiting, I wanted to do it as soon as I heard that Mr. DeVinny had the equipment but I wanted to kind of see if any students were being proactive with doing something like I didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes with it,” Koepke explained. 

The goal of the podcast is to provide a voice to the teachers of Wauwatosa West in order to broadcast the thoughts that would otherwise go unheard. 

Koepke’s podcast is 1 of the 115,000 free English podcasts available to listeners online with new podcasts being made every day and can be found on Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Apple podcasts. 

“I have a really deep respect for podcasts like the fact they’re free and the fact that anybody can make them I think it’s just like a great medium for students,” Wauwatosa West librarian Derek DeVinny said. 

Derek DeVinny has found himself consuming news and media through a daily podcast for the past five years and even provides podcasting equipment for students and staff alike. 

“If you are interested in starting a podcast, you need to do quite a bit of thinking ahead of time,” Devinny explained. 

Podcasting is done in steps where many decisions have to be made including topics, format, editing, media, and publishing. 

“I don’t know what like the most listened to the topic of podcasts would be. I would say that it needs to be authentic, though, for people to get into it.” DeVinny said. 

In order to make his podcast more inclusive Koepke plans on interviewing both students and staff in the future to highlight the achievements they’ve made within the Wauwatosa West community. 

“So my goal is to get this as open to students and to administration and staff as I possibly can, I have hopes and aspirations in podcasts.” Koepke continued, “I hope when I’m done, I can hand the torch on to someone else and they can continue it.”