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A Teacher’s Pump-Up Playlist to Get You Through Your Day

Listen, we all have different tunes that get us ready to work; ready to be everything our students need us to be. But some songs ultimately transcend personal genre preferences and taste. This is the soundtrack to your day. From that early morning exhaustion to your late-night lethargy, let this playlist keep you on point. Have Spotify? Check out this playlist HERE.

Waking Up ("Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor and "Final Countdown" by Europe)

You have two choices here, and they’re classic. You don’t have to be an 80s baby to recognize that these songs are the soundtrack to every challenge you’ve ever faced. You got this.

On the Way In ("I Got You (I Feel Good)" by James Brown)

You might not think you’re in the mood for something with this much soul so early in the morning, but let’s be honest: You need this.

The Day: Your Lessons ("Rise" by Flobots)

The bass thumps as your pulse begins to rise. Like this song, your lessons need energy, determination, with just a perfect hint of self-reflection.

The Day: Tech Problems ("Virtual Insanity" by Jamiroquai)

This needed to be here. Sometimes this is the most stressful part of any day. You’ve planned every minute, and yet you’re being taken down by a faulty Chromebook charger. It’s insane. As (not if) the tech begins to falter, let Jamroquai take over.

The Day: Bathroom Break ("Man in the Mirror" by Michael Jackson)

I feel like at least once a day, I need a “breather” in the bathroom. To splash water in my face. Re-center. Reflect. And recharge. MJ’s got you covered:

The Day: After School Support ("You're Welcome" from Moana)

We all know the day never ends when that bell rings. And sometimes it feels like a lot of effort to put in those after school hours. It can be healthy to periodically pat yourself on the back. Maui gets it.

The Day: Staff Meeting ("Don't Worry, Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin)

Oof. Staff meetings get a bad rap for being long, tedious, and feeling like a read-aloud email that should have just been an email. But would you have read that email? Sit back, relax, and breathe. It’s certainly not the toughest part of your day, right?

On the Way Home ("Survivor" by Destiny's Child)

The ride home is a mix of feeling accomplished, yet firing yourself up for tomorrow’s lesson. Not only did you crush it today; you’re going to crush it tomorrow, too. It’s not always perfect. But we’ll survive.

Lesson Planning for the Next Day ("Power to the People" by John Lennon)

Now it’s time for the magic. You’ve assessed today’s lesson, and figured out where to go next, and you’re going to do your best to make it awesome. Think about the work you are doing. You’re helping the next generation of this world’s leaders. With your guidance, they’re going to be a powerful force to reckon with.

Right Before Bed ("The Winner is..." from Little Miss Sunshine)

It’s done. At last. Assignments graded, lessons ready to roll…You have just enough time to sit back and relax before settling into bed for the night. You’re doing good work. You should be proud of it. Put your feet up, throw on some Hulu, and grab your snack du jour. You’ve earned it.


Written by Keith Lambert, Education World Associate Contributing Editor

Lambert is an English / Language Arts teacher in Connecticut.