Greg Farr has been reading my diary.

Like it says. Awhile back I posted a deconstruction of your garden variety great teacher, which included among its parts “the pop culture scholar.” From his most recent LeaderTalk post, I can only assume that Greg has been obsessed by my post ever since he read it.

Summarized brusquely, he talks of iPod ownership as a way to stay relevant to his kids and concludes with a Scarlett O’Hara-esque cry that he will never go obsolete again.

I’m convinced there’s an RSS feed to inform every slice of a great teacher and on the off chance the tragically unhip teachers among us (oh no, not you) would like to bolster their pop cultural I.Q., here they are:

The iTunes Music Store Feeds: Including the top ten songs/abums purchased for the week.’s Music Feeds: Less flash-in-the-pan-y than the iTunes feeds. It’s what people are actually listening to, rather than what they’ve just bought.

Just toss those in and hold on tight.

[The author here almost posts his screen i.d. but, recalling his brief, regrettable, and totally chart-altering dance with Fall Out Boy earlier this year, thinks better of it.]

Hey! Anyone have a screen i.d. to share? I mean, I don’t, but I’m always curious (for example) if TMAO supplements his strict diet of obscure Floridian punk with a little power pop, or if Mr. C is getting in as much hyphy as a Yay Area teacher oughtta.


I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.


  1. Another way to go about this kind of pop cultural literacy is just to ask students. Last year, a student ended up burning 2 discs for me and I borrowed several. Quite often, students connect what we’re reading or talking about to a band. Ask someone to make a copy of that disc and you’re sure to get at least one kid who really wants to do it. It’s so easy to do now that it literally is no problem.

    When I see a student walking around with headphones, instead of telling her/him that no iPods are allowed on campus (yes, it’s a rule, but I cannot get behind it), I ask what s/he is listening to. Regularly, I’m told bands I already know – there’s been a resurgence of classic rock bands over the last few years. Every now and again, I’m introduced to a new band and I can usually listen to a bit of it right there, kind of like Tower Records. That was another way to keep up on music trends, visiting their listening stations. Ah, Tower Records… A moment of silence, please.