Friday, June 10, 2016

10 Podcasts to Try This Summer

I've become a little obsessed with listening to podcasts. A few weeks ago I told you about some of the education podcasts I like to listen to. In this post, you'll learn about what I listen to when I want to get my mind off school. There's sure to be one for any mood. These are listed in the order I discovered them, not in order of preference. Here are my top 10 podcasts to check out this summer.


On Being is the first podcast I began listening to regularly. Krista Tippett interviews incredible guests about their spiritual lives. I listen to these when I need to restore my sense of hope in the world. 

Like many teachers, I'm a bit of a word-nerd. I think discovered Grammar Girl when I was trying to prove myself to be correct in some linguistic debate with one of my colleagues. If you're interested in words, language, or the nuances of grammar, you'll enjoy Grammar Girl. Grammar Girl is the original podcast in the Quick and Dirty Tips family of podcasts. If grammar isn't your thing, check out their homepage. There's sure to be something you'll like.

The Savvy Psychologist is my other favorite from the Quick and Dirty Tips podcast family. Ellen Hendrickson provides in depth information and practical advice for lots of mental health topics. As a mom and a teacher, I was particularly interested in her episode on Sensory Processing Disorder. And as a "not-very-fancy" person, I was surprised to realize that I am actually a perfectionist. Interesting.

I can't remember exactly what led me to the Stuff Mom Never Told You podcast, but it's fascinating! Cristen and Caroline are the brilliant hosts of this podcast dedicated to exploring the world through the lens of gender. An episode that might interest you in particular is How Teaching Became Women's Work. Two others that were very enlightening were Domestic Violence 101, and Stalking 101. There's also a recent episode that really digs into the life of Hillary Clinton

I was wanting something a little lighter to listen to when I saw John Hodgman on the Late Show. Judge John goes into unimaginable depth trying to resolve disputes between friends and family over topics like fashion faux pas and whether or not a hot dog is a sandwich. The shows are hilarious, but safe to listen to with your kids or parents around. It turned out that Judge John Hodgman is part of another podcast family--Maximum Fun. That's how I discovered the next show on my list.

At first I wasn't sure about this one because the title didn't appeal to me, but Biz and Teresa guest hosted an episode of Judge John Hodgman in one of the brilliant marketing plans for Maximum Fun, then I was hooked. Biz and Teresa offer weekly doses of humor and encouragement for mom, dads, and parent-sympathizers. One of my favorite parts of the show is the genius/fail. Recently they did a Genius/Fail Spectacular.  I find that thinking of the good and bad moments I create as genius and fail moments gives me a good perspective on life. Finally, they've introduced me to interesting blogs, books, and of course, other podcasts.

One thing you'll find about podcasts is that they promote each other. Once you get interested in one or two, you'll find yourself in a podcast wormhole. One Bad Mother introduced me to Can I Pet Your Dog (which didn't make the list, sorry) which led me to Brains On! This one is an informative science podcast for kids. I promise that grown-ups will learn things, too! My kids love it. It's ideal for kids ages 7-12. We especially love the mystery sound feature.  I promise this is entertaining for the whole family. 

Tumble is another science podcast for kids with tons of interesting information for kids. 

One week Brains On! introduced me to Story Pirates. As a teacher, I LOVE THIS. Story Pirates get kids to engage in creative writing, then they "steal the treasures" (Get it? They are pirates and the treasures are the stories.) and give them to professional actors who perform dramatic interpretations of the stories. They follow up with author interviews. It's amazing. Seems like a great way to motivate kids to write. The performances are always amazing.

Since my kids have been excited about listening to different podcasts in the car, I went looking and found Classics for Kids. I was a bit embarrassed that I didn't know about this one since I discovered their website and used it in my classroom years ago. Classics for Kids has tons of material! These are short episodes consisting of classical music clips and narration. My son has just declared it to be his favorite. If you are an advocate for the fine arts, you need to know about this website and podcast!

So there you have my ten suggestions for podcasts to check out this summer when your mowing the lawn, taking the dog for a walk, running errands, folding laundry---you get the idea. If you're looking for some free professional development, be sure to read about my top 5 Podcasts for Educators

Are you a podcast listener? Let me know your favorites in the comments!

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photo credit: iPod and headphones via photopin (license)


  1. Oh, Deb, I am so glad to find this. Summer is just about here for me, and I don't do podcasts much, so it's time to try. I PINNED!! Thanks for post. Kathleen Kidpeople Classroom


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