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Curious about what Arizona K12 Professional Learning Directors are listening to this month? Their tastes are just as diverse as their vibrant personalities.


Make the most out of your drives with some of our favorite podcasts. Podcasts are an excellent way to keep entertained during commutes to and from work, fulfill the need for staying informing while also prepping for the next day of instruction, and above all, binge worthy when a series peak our interests.

Podcast: Sincerely, X
Genre: Human Interest
Routine Listener: Danielle Brown

TED’s new podcast, Sincerely, X, provides a way to see into other’s experiences. It engages listeners in real life stories that are shared anonymously. The opening hooks you with the idea that this podcast “values ideas over identity, and substance over style.” Sincerely, X humanizes the world, as mistakes and lessons learned are shared. The host, June Cohen, encourages listeners not to try to figure out who the speakers are, suspend judgment, and to just listen.

Podcast: Up and Vanished
Genre: Investigative True Crime
Routine Listener: Mary Field

Like many true crime novels and other podcasts (i.e. Serial and S-Town), Up and Vanished is just as encapsulating and leaves listeners wondering, questioning, and seeking answers as it follows the investigation of the Tara Grinstead’s 2005 disappearance. Listeners were so engaged early in the series that its creator, Payne Lindsey, added companion episodes allowing for Q&As from listeners and Case Evidence highlighting important investigative details not covered in the weekly episodes. Season one has come to a close and was so popular that Lindsey is doing a live tour visiting 17 cities providing his listeners with even more insight on the case as it continues to evolve in real time.

Podcast: The Nerdist
Genre: Humorous, Pop Culture, Informational
Routine Listener: Donnie Dicus

The Nerdist is a podcast started by TV personality Chris Hardwick. Two of Hardwick’s friends, Jonah Ray and Matt Mira, join his routine cast as the three hosts. In addition, a special guest joins them for each episode. The guests range from high-brow thinkers, such as Al Gore, to shock comedians, like Trey Parker, who is most known for creating South Park and writing the Broadway hit, The Book of Mormon. (Warning: Expect vulgar language if you listen to that episode). One of my personal favorites features Anna Kendrick. Kendrick, who is famous for the Pitch Perfect movies, has such a smart, sassy wit that pairs well with the conversational tone of the three hosts. Listening to this podcast makes me feel like I am hanging out with friends at a hipster happy hour spot. Join me!

Podcast: TEDTalks Education
Genre: Educational Informational
Routine Listener: Angelia Ebner

Each TEDTalks Education episode is independent of each other and does an incredible job of bringing many different issues that educators face to life in an informative and motivating way. As educators, we should not shy away from challenges our profession presents us, but rather find ways to overcome them to help our students find success. These innovative and authentic stories will help you think differently about championing change and ensuring your visions come to fruition.

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