Thought-Provoking Podcasts That Will Make You a Better Educator
Education is all about growth. It doesn’t matter if you are a teacher, an administrator, or an educational specialist, there are always new things to learn and new perspectives to consider when it comes to the world of learning. The problem is, when you walk the same hallways and interact with the same colleagues every day, your exposure to new and different ideas can become limited. How, then, can educators find fresh ways to reinvigorate their teaching methods?
It can be easy to fall into a rut and let the same school routines, conversations, and initiatives box in your educational perspective. Podcasts are a great way to introduce fresh ideas and viewpoints into your educational diet that you otherwise may have missed.
Even better, with little more than a pair of headphones and your smartphone you can turn ordinary tasks like walking the dog, commuting to work, or making dinner into opportunities for professional development!
Earlier this summer I wrote about four amazing education-focused podcasts that discuss topics ranging from educational technology to practical teaching advice. The problem is, four just isn’t enough; there are too many great podcasts that deal with the best practices in teaching and learning to stop there!
Here are four more podcasts to challenge your thought processes and help step up your teaching game!
- Frequency: weekly
- Length: about 10 minutes
- Back Catalog: Over 50 archived episodes dating back to April 2016
Why it’s Great: The premise of Jon Harper’s podcast is brilliant. Each week a guest educator steps to the microphone, shares a story of a mistake or failure, and then elaborates on how that blunder became a learning experience.
So often, we talk to students about failures as opportunities for growth; but as adults, it can be difficult to muster the courage to take that advice ourselves. The My BAD podcast’s inspiring stories of professional missteps make turning wrongs into rights a collaborative affair that we all can learn from.
- Frequency: Twice weekly
- Length: 25-60 minute weekly episodes and 5-minute “Monday Motivations” episodes
- Back Catalog: Over 70 archived episodes
Why it's Great: Don Wettrick is driven to replace stale classroom pedagogy with practices steeped in technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship. His StartEdUp Podcast features conversations with prolific educators, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders that are sure to inspire and provoke some interesting perspectives. With each episode, you are bound to walk away with some new ideas about how your teaching practice can be better suited to the 21st century world of our students.
As an added bonus, the Monday Motivation episodes are bite-sized nuggets that are able to grapple with some pretty heady topics in under seven minutes. If you are looking for a way to kick start your brain at the beginning of a new week, these shorter podcasts will certainly get you thinking and reflecting!
- Frequency: bi-weekly (with occasional bonus episodes)
- Length: about 30 minutes on average
- Back Catalog: over 50 archived episodes
Why it’s Great: Sean Lawrence's Ed Podcast is an honest and intelligent peek behind the curtain into what makes great classrooms work and what makes good educators better. These conversations are open dialogues that draw listeners into the room with the podcasters in a way that is hard to achieve.
From episode to episode, a solid balance between the big ideas and the nitty gritty helps capture the true intricacies of the education landscape. More so than any other podcast on this list, I find myself chiming into the conversation from the car only to remember (sheepishly) that I am trying to talk to a recording.
- Frequency: weekly
- Length: 6-12 minutes
- Back Catalog: Over 40 archived episodes
Why it's Great: Chuck Poole's Teachonomy podcast is a focused, positive, and inspiring treat for your ears each week. Unlike the other, more discussion-based options on this list, these audio shorts play like well-written and well-read editorials. When paired with the Teachonomy blog, educators are able to gain useful and practical insights into improving their own teaching practices. Chuck’s positive messages and positive tone make the Teachonomy podcast a great way to start your day!
Sheldon Soper is a New Jersey middle school teacher with over a decade of classroom experience teaching students to read, write, and problem-solve across multiple grade levels. He holds teaching certifications in English, Social Studies, and Elementary Education as well as Bachelor's and Master's degrees in the field of education. In addition to his teaching career, Sheldon is also a content writer for a variety of education, technology, and parenting websites. You can follow Sheldon on Twitter @SoperWritings and on his blog.