The “Shake your Fanny” Pack

One day last fall as we were driving to school listening to a morning radio show, we learned about something that would transform my principalship in the most amazing ways. The hosts of the radio show were laughing about this new device they heard about…a fanny pack with built-in speakers. I couldn’t believe my ears. They may have thought it was a joke, but I thought it sounded like a must-have. My son looked at me sideways as I got all giddy picturing myself wearing a magical musical fanny pack as students entered school in the morning. I had to have one!

I ran into school and shared my excitement with the office staff about the fanny pack, they laughed and maybe secretly hoped that I was joking when I told them that I was going to order one. Actually, it probably didn’t surprise them at all, they are used to my brand of crazy. That transformational morning lead to so much fun with students and staff, and helped us bring music and laughter to every corner of the school and playground.

A couple weeks later my treasure arrived, and of course I waited to open the box on Facebook LIVE. You can check out the unveiling of my first fanny pack with speakers using this link

Like so many principals, I love bringing excitement and joy into our school through music and dancing. I had been hauling around a big speaker which worked okay in some instances, but I was having trouble finding plugs in the middle of the playground. Wearing the speaker right around my waist lead to a tango line on the playground, jamming out to students’ favorite songs, hula dancing in the rotunda during arrival, and so much more fun. Infusing music equals infusing joy and infusing joy into the school culture means that, as Dave Burgess says, students are running to get into school instead of running to get out.

There are so many uses for the fanny pack with speakers, and I just got a new American flag designed fanny pack that students are going to LOVE this school year! I wear my fanny pack when I lead professional learning to add excitement, fun, and music. It never fails, during every single presentation people are on their phones purchasing a fanny pack with speakers for themselves.

Here is a list of some ideas for using the “Shake your Fanny Pack” at school:

  • Pick a portion of a song to play for students to set up a new learning activity. For instance, when we are processing through how new learning is going to change our thinking, I play a portion of David Bowie’s “Changes”.
  • Build anticipation for a new learning activity by getting student attention and then, without saying a word, play part of a song related to what they will be learning. To set up a relationship-building activity in the beginning of the year I played the first part of The Who’s “Who Are You” to build curiosity before giving them directions.
  • Play a portion of a podcast related to the learning topic.
  • Create sound effects for a lesson or activity and play them on the fanny pack right from your phone.
  • The possibilities are endless when you take the fanny pack out to the playground–teach new dances to students, take requests to play their favorite songs, have sing-alongs, etc.
  • Play music in the lunchroom. One of the best memories from last year is when I played “Sara” by Jefferson Starship in the cafeteria, dedicated to all the Sara’s in the school. Students loved it!
  • I even walked in a parade using my fanny pack speakers last year!
  • Greet students in the morning wearing the fanny pack and playing fun music like Mandisa’s “Good Morning”.

We are only limited by our imagination and by our willingness to embarrass ourselves with crazy dance moves. I may dance like Elaine from Seinfeld, but I don’t mind looking like a fool for the benefit of our students and staff.

If you purchase a fanny pack with speakers for yourself, let me know how you are using it with students and staff. Tag me in a post, or use the hashtag #Path2Serendipity. I will add your ideas to our list!

P.S. I just partnered with a company who sells an awesome fanny pack with speakers, or the “Shake your Fanny Pack” as I like to call it! Brian and his team at Super Real Business love the way educators are using fanny packs to create positive energy in schools. They are even offering a special discount code for us! Click HERE to use the promo code 10ALLYSON for 10% off your own sweet American flag fanny pack.

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