Professional Development

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What’s Afterschool Listening to This Summer?

For many, summer brings thoughts of sun and cookouts with friends and family—and if you're like many educators and students, summer reading lists!

The change of pace and frame of mind that summer brings makes it a great time for reading (or listening to podcasts and audiobooks: similar to reading, but adaptable to different settings) and professional growth for those in the afterschool profession. So, what's afterschool listening to or reading this summer?

Check out these audio options recommended by members of the NAA community to motivate you, make you think, keep you relevant, and even make you laugh.

Oh, yeah. And plan success strategies for the upcoming school year.

Happier with Gretchen Rubin | Recommended by Gina Warner, National AfterSchool Association
Gretchen Rubin is HAPPIER and she wants you to be happier, too. The No. 1 best-selling author of The Happiness Project and Better Than Before gets more personal than ever as she brings her practical, manageable advice about happiness and good habits to this lively, thought-provoking podcast.

Hear to Slay | Recommended by Heidi Ham, National AfterSchool Association
The black feminist podcast of your dreams—compelling conversations curated in a way only black women can. Each week, Roxane Gay and Tressie McMillan Cottom offer uncommonly incisive reads of the politics that shape the world we live in and the popular culture we consume. If you want to laugh as much as you want to be challenged—if you're seriously smart but refuse to take yourself too seriously at all—come a little closer because we are here and hear, to slay.

Hidden Brain | Recommended by Sarah Grizzle, Boys and Girls Clubs of America
This NPR podcast takes a more science and medicinal approach to help curious people understand the world—and themselves. Hosted by Shankar Vedantam, the podcast links research from psychology and neurobiology with finding from economics, anthropology, and sociology, to offer insights that can be applied at work or at home.

Invisibilia | Recommended by Kaci Franhauser, Arizona Technology Council
Unseeable forces control human behavior and shape our ideas, beliefs, and assumptions. Invisibilia—Latin for invisible things—fuses narrative storytelling with science that will make you see your own life differently.

Oprah's SuperSoul Conversations | Recommended by Andrea Lattanner, Microsoft Philanthropies
For when you need an extra boost of motivations, listen to Oprah's personal selection of her interviews with thought leaders, best-selling authors, spiritual luminaries, and more. These conversations are designed to light you up, guide you through life's big questions and help bring you one step closer to your best self.

Pod Save the People | Recommended by Zak Parpia, CalSAC
Organizer and activist DeRay Mckesson explores news, culture, social justice, and politics through deep conversations with influencers and experts, and the weekly news with fellow activists Brittany Packnett and Sam Sinyangwe, and writer Clint Smith.

Pop Culture Happy Hour | An NAA Leadership Team favorite
A short, fun, and freewheeling chat about the latest movies, television, books, comics, and music.

Skimm'd From the Couch | Another NAA Leadership Team favorite
Co-founders and co-CEOs of theSkimm, Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg started their company from a couch. Now they're bringing it back to one and inviting powerful female leaders to sit down and chat about everything from celebrating career wins to the worst advice they've ever received. It's an inside look at what it's really like on the road to success. No BS, no sugarcoating.

Terrible, Thanks for Asking | Recommended by Bri Gaston-Bell, Indiana Afterschool Network
You know how when someone asks, "How are you?" you just say "Fine," even if you're totally dying inside, so everyone can go about their day? "Terrible, Thanks for Asking" is the opposite of that. Nora McInerny asks real people to share their complicated and honest feelings about how they really are. It's sometimes sad, sometimes funny, and often both.

The Brendon Show | Recommended by Nikki Hale, Nikki Hale Consulting
Go behind the scenes with Brendon Burchard, the world's leading high performance coach and one of the Top 100 Most Followed Public Figures in the world, as he speaks to 20,000 people in arenas, coaches celebrities, helps his students, and reaches millions with his message for how we can all live, love, and matter. Brendon shares what he's struggling with, working on and marching toward—and how we can all live an extraordinary life.


Have a podcast you'd recommend to other afterschool professionals and leaders or want to share ideas with those who say, "But where do you find the time to listen?" Let us know! Email info@naaweb.org and your input will be considered for inclusion in a future blog.

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