Up until a few months ago, I hated listening to podcasts. I found it so hard to focus on what they were saying while I was distracted doing other things. However, I started listening to them on my commute to and from school and I can’t get enough! I don’t even like to listen to the radio now. If I’m driving or walking, I’ve got a podcast going.
Podcasts are wonderful tools for professional learning. Like most online media, they break down the barriers of time and space to allow for learning at your leisure. However, unlike most online media, they also remove the barrier of visual learning. You don’t need to watch a video with this online professional learning, as long as you’ve got speakers or a pair of headphones, you’re set. In fact, with most smartphones these days, podcast apps are built right in so all you have to do is stream and go.
Host: Angela Watson (Twitter: @Angela_Watson)
Category: Teacher Self-Care and General Education
On the Truth for Teachers podcast, Angela and her guests talk about general truth for educators. Angela is a teacher self-help guru and she often shares ideas about making your teacher week more productive and fulfilling. Angela is the queen at talking about the teacher guilt we all experience as teachers and gives suggestions to combat that guilt.
My favorite episode is 122: Your #1 job when you don’t feel motivated. In this episode, she discusses how the most important thing to do when you’re lacking motivation is to find motivation. Everything else on your to-do list can wait.
Host: Jennifer Gonzalez (Twitter: @cultofpedagogy)
Category: General Education
The Cult of Pedagogy podcast seems to have a strong following within my own PLN and for good reason. Jennifer talks about everything from instructional strategies to classroom management to professional development and everything in between. She offers a variety of podcasts at different lengths as well so you can find just perfect one for your drive, no matter how far.
My favorite episode is 92: Frickin’ Packets where she talks about the dangers of worksheets in the classroom. I’ll be completely honest and say that it took me almost a week before I listened to it when it came out because I was afraid I’d hear things I didn’t want to hear. 😓 We all use worksheets, whether we like to admit it or not. But this episode is fantastic and starts with the audio of a frustrated student in a classroom, an authentic voice expressing a very real problem. It’s definitely worth a listen!
Host: Jethro Jones (Twitter: @jethrojones)
Category: School Leadership
The Transformative Principal podcast is, of course, geared towards school leadership like principals and superintendents. Jethro Jones is a school principal in Fairbanks, Alaska and he interviews others about their leadership styles and invites his guests to shares ideas and tips for becoming a transformative school leader. Every episode is very conversational between Jethro and his guests.
There are so many wonderful episodes, but one of my favorites is The Principled Principal with Jeff Zoul and Anthony McConnell, where Jethro and his guests discuss setting up a school climate and culture conducive to collaboration and learning.
These are just a few of the podcasts I’ve been listening to non-stop for the last few weeks. Do you have a favorite? Drop a link or title in the comments below… I’d love to learn from you and to give it a listen!