3 Pandemic Playlists Every Teacher Needs this Year!


Whether you’re virtual, face to face, or some unholy hybrid, The 2020-2021 school year is going to carry some unprecedented challenges. Besides meeting the needs of our students and the demands of our administrators, teachers have to look after our own mental health, and music is a great way to do that. So here are three pandemic playlists for teachers, depending on what you need at the moment.

Playlist 1: Rage Music

When to Use It:

  • District meetings
  • Every time a parent suggests that their badly-behaved child “just needs to be challenged more”
  • When you find out you have to pay for your own PPE
  • Any time somebody suggests that “kids don’t get the virus” … as if teachers are completely expendable

Song Suggestions:

  • “Party Up” by DMX (Maybe just this song on repeat!)
  • “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana
  • “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette
  • “Killing in the Name” by Rage Against the Machine
  • “Chain of Fools” by Aretha Franklin
  • “I Hate Everything About You” by 3 Days Grace
  • “Gives You Hell” by All-American Rejects
  • “Crazy” by CeeLo Green
  • “I Will Survive” by Cake

Notes:

  • Contains profanity. Keep this one for personal consumption!

Playlist 2: Hype Music

When to Use It:

  • Beginning of class
  • On the way to work
  • Before a parent-teacher conference
  • First day of preplanning

Song Suggestions:

  • “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten
  • “Fight the Power” by Public Enemy
  • “Circle of Life” from the Broadway recording of The Lion King, not the movie
  • “Good Morning Baltimore” from Hairspray
  • “Kick Drum Heart” by the Avett Brothers
  • “My Shot” from Hamilton
  • “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor
  • “Tubthumping” by Chumbawamba
  • “It’s the End of the World (As We Know It)” by R.E.M.

Notes:

  • I know, it’s heavy on the show tunes. What can I say? Kids sing along, and I love that.

Playlist 3: Hard Times

When to Use It:

  • When the alternative is curling up in a ball and crying (again) and you don’t have time for that and you think the world is probably ending and you’re not sure why you’re still going to work except that you’re incredibly worried about both your students and your own family and you think you’re failing at everything. So, like, three times a week.

Song Suggestions:

  • “All Will Be Well” by the Gabe Dixon Band
  • “Let It Be” by the Beatles
  • “Carry On” by Fun
  • “Timshel” by Mumford and Sons
  • “Hand In My Pocket” by Alanis Morissette
  • “O-O-H Child” by The Five Stairsteps
  • “True Sadness” by the Avett Brothers
  • “Uncle John’s Band” by the Grateful Dead
  • “Seasons of Love” from Rent
  • “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by The Rolling Stones
  • “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel

Notes:

  • Seriously, this is all I listen to now.

Disclaimer: These songs skew heavily toward the musical preferences of a white woman who came of age in the 1990s. Feel free to branch out from these suggestions. 

What songs are on your pandemic playlists? Come and share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, classroom Spotify playlists and recommendations.





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