Fritz Lauerwald Hopes to Help Students Get to Know Their Teachers Better Through his New Podcast: Hilltop Perspectives


Credit: John Churchill

Senior Fritz Laurwauld and Mr. Ruocco pose after filming their podcast episode. In their recent podcast, the two discussed Mr. Ruocco’s journey to becoming a teacher and the importance of creating bonds with his students.

Do your relationships with teachers end once the bell rings? Senior Fritz Lauerwald sees this as “a problem” and addressed it by creating the Hilltop Perspectives Podcast: a way students can learn more about teachers by listening to casual recorded conversations.

“I really just want people to get to know another side to the teachers, and gain a different perspective on a side they normally don’t get to see. I’ve definitely strengthened my relationships with teachers by getting to know them personally so this is something I wanted to share,” Fritz said.

Another motivation behind making the podcast is the importance of community at Hackley and the major role the teachers play.

“I think the faculty at Hackley are the best thing about the community, but a large portion of who they really are can go unnoticed. They’re really good teachers but also great people,” Fritz said.

While many would think the process to be difficult, Fritz said how simple the whole set up really is. Wanting to keep the conversations very casual, Fritz aims for a very informal but informative dialogue.

“Even though hearing my voice when I listen to the playback still makes me feel a little weird, recording the podcast has always felt natural. I just arrange a time to talk with a teacher, bring my mic to school, press record, and before I know it the time is already up. It’s supposed to be very informal.”

So far, students have really enjoyed listening to these podcasts.

“I’ve definitely enjoyed listening to a couple episodes. I’ve learned interesting things about my teachers that I didn’t know before. It’s also convenient that it’s a podcast because I can just press play and listen to it,” junior Thomas Lee said.

“I personally don’t listen to many podcasts, but I have really enjoyed them, especially the Mr. Shaw episode. I have found them very interesting and I’m actually excited for more episodes about different teachers to come out,” senior John Churchill said.

Even the teachers have really enjoyed being on the podcasts.

“I just liked being able to reconnect with Fritz. He was such a pleasure to be with when I had him as a student. I got to enjoy that bonding again when we did the podcast,” Mr. Ruocco said.

“I really enjoyed it and think it’s a great way to connect the community. I also appreciate seeing Fritz take initiative to get to know his teachers better,” said Ms. Baal.