I am a baseball mom. I spend countless hours on baseball fields, travel to a different city almost every in-season weekend and enjoy every minute watching my boys play. I love most aspects of the game, but the one aspect that really intrigues me are walk-up songs. You know, the snippets of songs that play to introduce and represent each player. I love listening to them and trying to figure out how the song connects to each player. So I thought, why not bring that same intrigue to our work with teachers? So I did. And I urge you to consider creating walk-up songs with teachers, along with powerful playlists for professional learning, too. It is a great way to start off the year or bring a bit more energy to teachers when they need it most.

Begin by discussing the concepts of walk-up songs with teachers. Play this brief video from Stephanie Harvey explaining why walk-up songs matter and how they can benefit students. Reflect with teachers: What are walk-up songs and why do they matter?

Next, get teachers talking by playing a few snippets of the walk-up songs from some Major League Baseball players. Think about the messages behind them and why the players might have chosen them.

Then, invite teachers to choose their own walk-up song! Encourage them to have some fun and think big. They might choose songs of their childhood, songs that remind them of happy times, popular songs they currently love and more. It’s helpful to have devices on hand so teachers can listen to the songs before they choose. Teachers could find almost any song they think of on You Tube. They could even head to Lyrics.com to explore songs and the meanings behind them.

Finally, have teachers share their walk-up songs with others and play a snippet of it. Urge them to explain why they chose it, or better yet, have the teachers guess based on what they know about each other. This is a great way for everyone to get to know each other even more.

Now, let’s take it one step further. Compile all of the chosen songs together into a PD Playlist. Have this personalized playlist playing as teachers enter the room for professional learning sessions or during breaks. It even works well playing as background music while waiting for virtual meetings to begin. You are sure to connect with teachers as the song they chose brings a smile to their face.

You can also create other PD playlists based on particular themes and times of the year. Need some ideas? Try these:

So, what would your walk-up song be? Share your ideas and link to your created playlists, too!

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