We were lucky to catch up with Peter Hostrawser recently and have shared our conversation below.
Peter, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. Let’s start with education – we’d love to hear your thoughts about how we can better prepare students for a more fulfilling life and career.
This is a huge questions for me. I would change a lot in the education system. I believe there are a lot of outdated standards and ways we do things that have little or no value for learning in today’s world.
I work in the secondary education system in a public school with over 20 years experience. I am a business teacher in high school and that is where my lens will come from on changing the system. I have hear countless times from students, companies, organizations, etc. about what is really needed in educational systems… and it is not a GPA or test scores. It is simply experiential learning that creates skillsets and builds a network.
I recently had a high school board member ask me for ideas to change our local high school…
Here they are:
Every student required to graduate with a professional digital portfolio. spikeview type.
Every athlete in a sport gets a PE credit requirement covered
There will be an internship program where students leave during school to work and or help local community challenges.
A Block schedule
No caps on how many years a new teacher gets when hired. If they have 20 years they get 20 years.
Hybrid school model available for any family. If families choose to have their kid learn virtually it MUST be offered.
4 day school week for students. Day 5 is a hybrid for teachers planning innovating and giving real feedback to kids from Home or at school.
A program created for a Junior Senior academy like Iowa BIG where students build out ideas and implement (with their local communities) something to improve their home town.
Drop the Danielson observation method and go with Craig Randall’s Trust Based Observation method.
Find and hire a REAL career counselor who doesn’t push people only into college. Someone who knows what Praxis or BloomTech is and more programs like those.
Bottom line is that our students need to leave the educational system with skills, a network, a professional digital portfolio and experiences in the real world. So far, much of the burn out with students and teachers is there is little to no meaning to continue the way we have been going.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
As I came out of college, I never experienced my major of study outside of academic institutions. I didn’t really have any connections to what I had learned to a career path. So I venture out in the real world not knowing what to do next. I bartended, worked on golf courses, even worked a front desk of a hotel. All of this while I had a broadcast journalism degree. My girlfriend was an elementary teacher and let me knw they had a stipend position for someone to come in and help students write, tape, and edit the daily announcements on VHS tapes. This was right up my alley! I met with the kids (3rd-5th graders) on a weekly basis. Some of the kids were great academic students and some the teacher just wanted them out of the classroom. As the students learned hands on work with scripting, shooting and editing the videos, they started to excel in the classroom. I had teachers coming to me with the students involved who were not really academically strong letting me know the kids were picking up on their math and writing skills. That was it. The hook I needed to become an innovative educator.
I realized that nobody ever taught me how to look at my own skills and adapt them in school. Even through college. So I began my journey as the Unlearning Coach.
Today, with 20 years experience in the classroom at the secondary level, I have helped so many students and educators learn how to let go of status quo ways and dig into their skills and interests to grow and learn.
I am now a podcaster with the Disrupt Education podcast speaking about ways to do education differently. I write curriculum and consult schools and companies on how to best teach and work with students and employees. I am a huge advocate for digital professional portfolio builds and work with the company spikeview on that mission.
I help people and companies break out of stagnant growth and educational models.
My value is helping others find and show their value.
Any insights you can share with us about how you built up your social media presence?
Through my Disrupt Education podcast, I have built an audience. This includes my social media accounts as well as my network in general. I have been podcasting for over 5 years now and have more than 28K downloads on over 245 episodes. The main thing I learned was to be consistent. Learn something from each podcast and listen to the person you are interviewing. This has led me over the years to appreciate different lenses around education in general. I have also made connections for my Curriculum Design business with many companies. As an expert curriculum writer, most of what I have learned is through these connections and interviews. Be patient, be consistent, and also interact with your followers. I like to ask questions and seek knowledge from those listers and interviewees.
Can you tell us about a time you’ve had to pivot?
Before I began my own EdTech consulting and Curriculum Designing business, I like many others was caught up in the pandemic. I along with two co-founders created an education think tank business and we were focused on creating curriculum and educational experiences for the healthcare industry. We were set and ready to go with a mojor client here in Chicago and then the pandemic hit. Obviously the healthcare industry had to drop everything and pivot which left the business without a client to grow with. It was painful at first, however, my mentor from years ago always suggested for me to control what you can and let go of what you can’t.
I dug into that mindset and utilized all the assets I learned in that experience and the curriculum I created to show others what I was capable of doing. This pivot happened in the midst of a pandemic and with education pivoting to need online, human centered curriculum, I was ready to create in that industry. That is what led me to build and grow with EdTech companies and corporations in the curriculum design industry.
- Website: www.pterhostrawser.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/peterhostrawser/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peter.hostrawser
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/peterhostrawser/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/PeterHostrawser
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/disrupteducation
All photos by Peter Hostrawser