Podcasts: A Great Tool for Teachers!


Teachers have a voracious appetite for information. We love learning new things and experiencing different viewpoints. Teaching is a career that attracts those who are perpetually hungry for knowledge, and one easy means of satisfying that appetite is through podcasts!

In an article by Slate, Jonah Weiner says, "Podcasts embody what is arguably the essential promise of the Internet: a means for surprising, revealing, and above all ennobling encounters with people, things, and ideas we didn’t know. Listen to enough podcasts and you may come to feel that they are not merely of the Internet, but improved, microcosmic versions of it."

There are podcasts for every person, and every interest, and they are easily accessible! You can listen to Podcasts on your computer, but you can also download a podcast app and listen on your phone or tablet (Apple products come with a free app already loaded). I like to listen to my favorite ones while folding laundry, doing the dishes, cleaning my classroom, getting ready in the morning, or on long drives. And, unlike the times that I binge on my favorite television show, I come away from listening to podcasts feeling like I've gained new and useful information.

Podcasts are great for professional development. Our own PDs are tied to our own region, but through listening to the great educators of The Education Podcast Network, you can find information and insight from new perspectives, tailored to your situation and needs.

You should definitely check out all of the podcasts on the Education Network, and start looking for others to add to your line up. Here are a few suggestions from my long list of subscriptions:

Our Miss Brooks was a comedy show that premiered in 1948. Eve Arden stars as Connie Brooks, a kind, smart, and sarcastic high school teacher. Listening to this show, it's always amazes me how many of the jokes about teaching still work. For example, in one episode Miss Brooks is collecting clothing for a charity drive and says that she has donated one dress to charity. When asked why she doesn't donate more she says, "I would, but I don't think I'm allowed to come to work in a slip."

Gretchen's podcast is geared to renew your passion for education and help you feel empowered. She strives to help new teachers as they enter the profession and to help current educators stay there. Her podcasts are full of great ideas and encouragement!

Jennifer Gonzales has created a vibrant, encouraging, stimulating community of teachers that support each other towards excellence. In her podcast you'll hear interviews with educators, students, administrators, and parents as well as Jennifer's own insightful advice--the kind you would never get out of a textbook!

Liz is an Australian Early Childhood teacher with a research masters in Early Childhood Education and a coursework masters in Educational Leadership. Her podcast is a great resource on things like classroom management, pre-writing, bullying, and other pertinent topics--all backed by research.

Christopher J. Nesi's podcast explores how technology is changing the way teachers teach and the impact that technology is having in education. His podcast will help guide you through the technology that will help make your job easier!

Although this podcast is not updated very frequently, it's a great one to subscribe to, in order to get information directly from the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Lore is an award-winning, critically-acclaimed podcast about true life scary stories. Listening to Lore is like listening to a scary story around a campfire. If you're like me, you won't want to listen to this one at bedtime.

Dr. Sydnee McElroy and her husband Justin are the hosts of Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine. Learn about the wacky and weird stuff we've done to try to cure our ailments throughout history.

How Stuff Works has a lot of great podcasts. This one is my favorite. It details the stories from history that you might not be as familiar with: shipwrecks, strong women, terrible opera singers, and Disney's Haunted Mansion are among some of their topics.

The Memory Palace is another history podcast told from a more personal perspective. This one makes me cry--a lot.

Grammar Girl, aka Mignon Fogarty, will help you keep your writing sharp and error free. My husband thinks I'm super nerdy for loving this one as much as I do.

Speaking of being super nerdy, Good Job Brain, is a trivia podcast. Like Trivial Pursuit? You'll love this podcast!

Authors Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler, and Dan Wells discuss the nuts and bolts of writing fiction. It's a fascinating look into how writers work and write, and always gives me perspective when I think about teaching writing to my students.

NPR's weekly show Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me! is how I get my news lately. Sometimes it's just better to learn about current events when you know a comedian is going to crack a joke about them!

If you start looking, you're definitely going to find podcasts that suit your tastes and educational needs. I hope that our podcast will be one of them!