6 Podcasts for Education Leaders This Summer (And Beyond!)
Whether you're walking your dog, folding laundry, running errands, or relaxing on the couch, podcasts are a convenient way to stay current and learn something new. And that convenience is essential for school leaders who get pulled in many directions during the school day.
We compiled six can't-miss podcasts to tune into when you need a quick burst of professional learning, a dose of inspiration, or simply want to get lost in a story. Give them a listen as you move through the final few weeks of summer and beyond. For the full list of resources we recommend, check out How Education Leaders Can Restore, Retool, Recommit Now—And All School Year Long.
For educational opportunity and justice
If you're looking for inspiring stories of equity-focused leaders dedicated to making high-quality education accessible to every child, the Ed Post podcast is the place to start. Brought to you by Ed Post, a network of education activists and influencers seeking to turn stories into action, this podcast promises "fresh ideas and stories that challenge, surprise, and inspire." Ed Post releases episodes weekly on topics like education reform, building the Black educator pipeline, and LGBT youth.
Start here: In a recent episode, New Leaders alum Dr. Archie Moss Jr. shares how he is dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline through an all-male mentoring program for young boys of color. Listen to the episode.
For instructional leadership
If you're interested in the science of literacy and need strategies for leading high-quality instruction, we recommend the Melissa & Lori Love Literacy Podcast. Melissa Loftus and Lori Sappington are literacy educators from Baltimore who have experience in the classroom and leading district and state-wide literacy initiatives. Each Friday, they interview education leaders at all levels, literacy researchers, and community members to explore new ways of thinking about teaching, reading, and writing. Share this podcast with your teachers, as many episodes feature instructional strategies to leverage in the classroom.
Start here: New Leaders alum and co-founder of FULCRUM Oakland Kareem Weaver joined Loftus and Sappington to share how he is fighting for every child in Oakland to be an “on-time” reader and what he believes is necessary to make that happen. Listen to the episode.
For out-of-the-box leadership ideas
Any compilation of podcasts for educators would be incomplete without a mention of Daniel Bauer's Better Leaders Better Schools Podcast (BLBS). Launched in 2015, it's the #1 downloaded podcast for school leaders and has helped over one million leaders level up their leadership. Every week, Bauer interviews leaders inside and outside the field of education to share ideas with "ruckus makers," who he defines as out-of-the-box school leaders making change happen.
Start here: Dr. Susie Wise, a design leader in education, technology, and social sectors, recently joined Bauer on the podcast to share strategies for improving school culture by designing learning environments that create belonging. Listen to the episode.
For insights into the future of education
The future of education is already here. Prepare yourself for what's happening now and what's to come with the EdSurge Podcast. With new episodes every Tuesday, this timely podcast delivers candid and insightful conversations with educators, scholars, and tech innovators. EdSurge aims to bridge information gaps between those who drive change in education and those who serve students. This podcast is an excellent vehicle for sharing insights with practitioners—like you—who are shaping the future of learning in real-time.
Start here: Want to explore the intersection between social justice and computer science? This episode is for you. EdSurge reporters recount a panel discussion at Black Tech Policy Week 2022 detailing what we can learn about equity in computer science from past civil-rights struggles in America. Listen to the episode.
For thriving in school leadership
The School Leadership Show, hosted by Dr. Mike Doughty, delivers insights and tools to turn ordinary school administrators into extraordinary leaders. For practicing and aspiring school leaders alike, this podcast helps educators advance in their careers, improve their productivity, and achieve work-life balance. In many episodes, Jenn David-Lang of The Main Idea joins Dr. Doughty to give you super-summaries of new books on educational leadership. That way, you get enough knowledge to apply new ideas even if you don't have time to read the entire book.
Start here: Dr. Doughty and David-Lang discuss a new perspective on school improvement that prioritizes listening to those most impacted by changes aimed at improving schools. Listen to the episode.
For an immersive storytelling experience
If you look at current situations through the lens of history, you'll enjoy NPR's Throughline podcast. NPR invites listeners to join them every week to go back in time through stories that reframe history and shift perspectives. Turn to this podcast as a palate cleanser between professional learning-focused podcasts. It's perfect when you want to get immersed in a story while deepening your understanding of important and timely issues.
Start here: Throughline's School Colors series is about how race, class, and power shape American cities and schools. This episode will transport you to the South Jamaican neighborhood of Queens, New York, where getting a good education is tied to housing segregation. Listen to the episode.
When you can't commit to that hours-long audiobook, podcasts are there for you. (Although we do love books! See our top summer reads.) Think of podcasts as your secret weapon—helping you make time to level up your learning, even if you do it while you're cooking dinner. For more ideas, see our 2022 list and 2023 list.
What podcasts would you share with fellow education leaders? Tag @NewLeadersOrg on Twitter to let us know.