From the Magazine

Podcast Review: “Truth for Teachers”

Angela Watson’s “Truth for Teachers” podcast has over 200 episodes on topics ranging from being in the teaching profession, to maintaining work-life balance while teaching from home, and many others. The podcast boasts more than five million downloads and is consistently ranked in the top three K-12 podcasts on iTunes. 

Watson, the podcast’s creator, is a National Board Certified Teacher, with more than 11 years of classroom experience as well as over a decade working as an instructional coach. In addition to her popular podcast, she has supported teachers by creating a variety of printable curriculum resources, developing several online courses, writing five books, and creating the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club. Although many of her paid resources are also worth a look, her podcast is a way to experience Watson’s insightful perspective for free, as a part of your weekly routine. New episodes are released on Sundays, making it a perfect, positive addition to any K-12 teacher’s Sunday evening routine or Monday morning commute. 

Watson’s self-proclaimed mission for the podcast is “to speak life, encouragement, and truth into the minds and hearts of educators and get you energized for the week ahead,” and that’s exactly what she does. The podcast tackles a wide array of relevant topics, never shying away from discussing tough issues. Watson has a way of bringing her unique brand of honesty and reflection to even the most difficult of subjects, including the dangers of being “neutral” when it comes to issues of bias and racism, motivating reluctant learners, and not feeling okay as a teacher amid the pandemic. As they listen, audiences are challenged to reflect on their own practices and beliefs, encouraging teachers to let go of limiting thoughts and assumptions, and focus on what they can do to improve education for themselves and their students — one week at a time. The strategies she suggests are short, measurable, comprehensible, and well-targeted for K-12 educators. 

Watson’s expertise shines through with her insightful perspective, which is delivered to her listeners in a radically honest, calm, and authentic voice that is uniquely hers. She talks to teachers as if she were a friend or colleague, genuinely concerned about the best interest of her listeners. As someone who has struggled with anxiety and depression, she wants her listeners to take care of themselves, reminding them often to take care of themselves before they can care for their kids. She consistently preaches self-care and realistic boundaries to avoid burnout.

Her work focuses on the idea that the true best practices are the ones that are not only sustainable, but also simultaneously benefit both kids and teachers. The messages that she delivers in her podcast episodes truly do speak to the minds and hearts of teachers, recognizing that they want what’s best for kids, but also that there are limits to what can realistically be done. Watson is not afraid to encourage teachers to be quietly subversive when necessary to improve outcomes for both kids and themselves. This realistic, down-to-earth approach makes her a source of advice that is relatable and applicable for many classroom teachers. 

Unlike some education podcasts that can feel somewhat disorganized and unnecessarily long, “Truth for Teachers” gets to the point, often in less than 30 minutes. Watson cares about intentionality with time and actions in teaching, and she models this in her podcast by not dragging episodes out unnecessarily. The shorter length does not come at the cost of quality content, though; Watson is just more concise than many podcasters and packs a lot of high-quality content into less time.

Angela Watson’s “Truth for Teachers” podcast has over 200 episodes on topics ranging from being in the teaching profession, to maintaining work-life balance while teaching from home, and many others. The podcast boasts more than five million downloads and is consistently ranked in the top three K-12 podcasts on iTunes. 

Watson, the podcast’s creator, is a National Board Certified Teacher, with more than 11 years of classroom experience as well as over a decade working as an instructional coach. In addition to her popular podcast, she has supported teachers by creating a variety of printable curriculum resources, developing several online courses, writing five books, and creating the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club. Although many of her paid resources are also worth a look, her podcast is a way to experience Watson’s insightful perspective for free, as a part of your weekly routine. New episodes are released on Sundays, making it a perfect, positive addition to any K-12 teacher’s Sunday evening routine or Monday morning commute. 

Watson’s self-proclaimed mission for the podcast is “to speak life, encouragement, and truth into the minds and hearts of educators and get you energized for the week ahead,” and that’s exactly what she does.

The podcast tackles a wide array of relevant topics, never shying away from discussing tough issues.

Watson has a way of bringing her unique brand of honesty and reflection to even the most difficult of subjects, including the dangers of being “neutral” when it comes to issues of bias and racism, motivating reluctant learners, and not feeling okay as a teacher amid the pandemic. As they listen, audiences are challenged to reflect on their own practices and beliefs, encouraging teachers to let go of limiting thoughts and assumptions, and focus on what they can do to improve education for themselves and their students — one week at a time. The strategies she suggests are short, measurable, comprehensible, and well-targeted for K-12 educators. 

Watson’s expertise shines through with her insightful perspective, which is delivered to her listeners in a radically honest, calm, and authentic voice that is uniquely hers. She talks to teachers as if she were a friend or colleague, genuinely concerned about the best interest of her listeners. As someone who has struggled with anxiety and depression, she wants her listeners to take care of themselves, reminding them often to take care of themselves before they can care for their kids. She consistently preaches self-care and realistic boundaries to avoid burnout. Her work focuses on the idea that the true best practices are the ones that are not only sustainable, but also simultaneously benefit both kids and teachers. The messages that she delivers in her podcast episodes truly do speak to the minds and hearts of teachers, recognizing that they want what’s best for kids, but also that there are limits to what can realistically be done. Watson is not afraid to encourage teachers to be quietly subversive when necessary to improve outcomes for both kids and themselves. This realistic, down-to-earth approach makes her a source of advice that is relatable and applicable for many classroom teachers. 

Unlike some education podcasts that can feel somewhat disorganized and unnecessarily long, “Truth for Teachers” gets to the point, often in less than 30 minutes. Watson cares about intentionality with time and actions in teaching, and she models this in her podcast by not dragging episodes out unnecessarily. The shorter length does not come at the cost of quality content, though; Watson is just more concise than many podcasters and packs a lot of high-quality content into less time.

Suzanne Williams is a high school teacher and publications director in Indiana. When she’s not teaching her students Journalism or Japanese, she’s reporting on education-related topics, crafting, longboarding or playing with her corgi.