easy Grab and go teacher pd: Popcorn and a podcast

Teacher PD opportunity with a popcorn and podcast snack!

Continuous professional development is important, but it is SO difficult to find the time to fit teacher pd opportunities into schedules that are already overbooked. As a literacy coach, I want to consistently instill a thirst to keep learning, growing, and encouraging a mindset shift that all children can and will achieve grade-level proficiency in reading. Many educators want to continue learning on a regular basis, but don’t have the ability to sit through after-school pd opportunities. You will be hard-pressed to find a building that has ample time built in for teacher pd opportunities.

Enter: podcast episodes. In this blog post, I’m going to share my first grab-and-go teacher pd opportunity that I created for the teachers I work with. I’m also sharing the editable printable that I created for this teacher pd project with you for FREE! Keep reading to check it out!

why podcasts make great teacher pd

Why podcasts? Personally, I listen to education-focused podcast episodes constantly on my way to school. For one, it sets a tone and mindset of being focused on students, data, and goals for my day ahead. It’s also a convenient way for me to stay up-to-date on the latest research and educational hot topics. I have to drive to work, so if I’m going to be stuck in a car, I might as well make that time count! Sharing important podcast episodes with teachers is free, convenient, and easy to use. Teachers can listen to a podcast episode at home, in their pjs, and without the pressure or overwhelming feeling that can sometimes come from mandated PD opportunities. Most episodes are under an hour, which respects a teacher’s time and provides the flexibility to listen to as a whole or in shorter, more manageable chunks.

offering convenient pd opportunities

I LOVE being a literacy coach, and I have oodles of dreams and goals for my position. One of these goals has always been to provide some type of grab-and-go professionals learning opportunity for teachers. So, when my sweet friend Holly Ehle from The Science of Literacy Learning, shared that her preservice teachers often pick up little snacks in the student lounge, an idea hit me! By attaching a podcast episode to a snack, we can offer common language, spark collaborative conversations, and help teachers form relationships through positive professional discussions in an easy, stress-free way!

Each month of this school year, I’ll be sharing a new grab-and-go teacher pd opportunity that I’m offering the staff in my PreK-5 building. These opportunities are optional for the staff, and the snack will change from month to month. I’ll also be sharing this same opportunity with you on my blog! I’ll be choosing podcast episodes that align to our building goals, or ones that I find particularly inspiring and helpful. This month, I chose an episode with Angie Hanlin on the Melissa and Lori Love Literacy podcast channel. Each month’s free download will include a page that allows you to add your own podcast episode or QR code for your teachers.

teacher pd opportunities

popcorn and a podcast

Who doesn’t love popcorn? It’s easy to make or buy, cheap, and a perfect snack for an afternoon pick-me-up for your teachers! In order to put together this cute teacher pd opportunity, I grabbed these adorable popcorn cartons from Amazon. I filled them up with popcorn, and attached my free popcorn printable to the front of each box. I then had an instant grab-and-go snack that contained a powerful and inspirational podcast link to share with teachers!

share your grab and go pd with others

It’s not enough to create a cute teacher pd opportunity- you have to now get the teachers to take one and scan the QR code! I set up my popcorn buckets within our office copy room. This is a high-traffic area of the building for teachers because it houses staff mailboxes. I sent an email out to the staff inviting them to grab some popcorn from the office copy room. I also explained that a QR code was taped to the front with an inspiring episode that I believed they would find helpful and inspiring as we are starting our data meetings for the year.

make pd worth their time

The teacher pd opportunities that we provide for staff should be something they can immediately implement and apply to their classroom practice. For these grab-and-go projects, be sure to choose a podcast episode that aligns to goals you and/or your administration has set for the building or group of teachers.

It’s also important to acknowledge the time the teachers spent on the professional learning experience. These grab-and-go teacher pd opportunities are 100% optional for teachers. They are not required to participate in them, but I believe that if teachers are spending time outside of school, we should offer a contact hour certificate whenever possible. With permission from my administration, I was also able to offer a 1 hour contact hour certificate for the time they spent listening to the podcast. The teachers simply have to email me and let me know they watched it, and share a quick takeaway they had from the episode.

get your free editable cards

Would you like to use the popcorn and podcast cards that I created with your staff? You can download my printables for FREE! This free file will download as a PowerPoint file, so that you can add your own QR code to the cards.

Sign up for my e-mail newsletter, and I’ll send these FREE and EDITABLE popcorn and a podcast cards directly to your inbox! Don’t forget to check your spam and your promotions tab. Sometimes the freebies can get lost in there!

share this with other educators!

Feel free to share this blog post with your literacy coach, instructional coaches, administration, team leaders, or colleagues by pinning the image below!

popcorn and a podcast printable gives literacy coaches a creative way to offer teacher pd opportunities

Within this blog post, you’ll find Amazon affiliate links, which means Amazon throws a few cents my way if you happen to purchase something from those links – at no extra cost to you. I hope you find the links convenient and helpful!

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  1. I absolutely love this idea! I’m not a coach but I am team lead. I would love to share something like this each month with them.

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