6 podcasts for teachers to use in class
We are currently experiencing something of a golden age when it comes to podcasts for teachers and educators. Not only is there plenty on offer for teachers who want to access the latest in research and best practice strategies for the classroom, but there is also an ever-increasing multitude of podcasts aimed at kids and teens which are perfect for use in the classroom. This week, School Stream takes a dive into the crowded ecosystem that is educational podcasts. Whether you need a meditation track to keep your class calm during ‘witching hour’ or you need a jump-off point for a discussion on media literacy, there is sure to be a podcast for you.
We know you’re busy. Click here to see how School Stream helps a Principal in their role, or read on for our overview of podcasts for teachers.
Mental health for students – professional learning for teachers on the run
In the time-pressed day-to-day that is a teacher’s life, podcasts are the perfect way to source content for targeted, self-directed professional development. Podcasts are easy, convenient, and require no planning or time away from school. It’s PD on the run, if you will. And one area where teachers are seeking knowledge and support is in identifying and managing student mental health issues during class time. The following two podcasts are a veritable treasure trove of up-to-date research and real-world strategies for teachers who want to stay current with the latest in mental health issues for young people through an education lens.
- Teacher Magazine covers education and leadership from every angle and is a useful place to source information about student wellbeing. Recent topics have included ‘Student Voice and Agency’ and ‘Identifying and Managing Student Anxiety’. It’s all the content you know and love to read on the website, but delivered in handy audio form.
- The Teachers’ Education Review is a fortnightly podcast with a focus on educational issues in Australia and around the world. TER is hosted by a NSW secondary school teacher and a NSW primary school Assistant Principal, so you can be confident your hosts share your lived experience ‘on the ground’ in a school. Recent topics around student health have included ‘School Choice and Teachers’ and ‘Wellbeing and Learning’.
Mindfulness and meditation podcasts to keep it calm in the classroom
Both academic research and anecdotal experience have long maintained the value in teaching meditation and mindfulness to students. Here are some of the favourites for when your students need time and space to slow down during the school day.
The soothing voice of Lesley from New Horizon Holistic Centre has for years been teaching kids to meditate with guided meditations and short stories about unicorns, secret treehouses and ancient castles. The stories incorporate visualisations and breathing techniques, and encourage kids to slow down and be still. My Secret Treehouse is a teacher favourite and has been played close to 2 million times, but there are many more options available on You Tube and Spotify.
Peace Out presents relaxing short stories that help kids calm down and relax by guiding them through visualisations and breathing exercises. Narrator Chanel Tsang hopes it will help kids to understand what ‘calm’ looks and feels like. Chanel connects with her young audience in a very visceral way and there is plenty of kid-friendly meditations focussed on space, pirates and even a ‘hangry’ snow leopard.
Keep learning fun – motivational and educational podcasts for teachers to use
There has been an absolute explosion over the past few years in podcasts aimed squarely at kids. The very best podcasts will spark imaginations, teach new and complex ideas, or make kids snort with laughter. Some of the following podcasts on this list will achieve all three!
Stuck on an ethical dilemma in class? Chances are it’s been discussed on the Short and Curly podcast. The fast-paced ethics podcast tackles big questions in bite-size chunks of 20 minutes or so. Topics include “When should you stop being friends with someone?” or “Are parents hypocrites?” It’s produced by the ABC who has a fantastic collection of kid-friendly podcasts that are suitable for use in class. Check out Fierce Girls, Animal Sound Safari and Imagine This via the ABC Listen app.
Who loves teaching media literacy skills? You will when you discover how much fun it can be with Pants on Fire. In their own words: Each week, a kid faces down two grown-ups, one an honest-to-goodness true expert, the other, well, a dirty rotten liar! Pants on Fire teaches kids to ask insightful questions, weigh the evidence in front of them, and trust their gut.
We hope you find a podcast that inspires you and your students. Have we missed any of your favourites? Get in touch.