Sunday, October 27, 2013

Blog Post #10

What can we learn about teaching and learning from Randy Pausch?

Randy Pausch standing at podium delivering speech
Randy Pausch's Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams is an inspirational lecture that I am glad to have had the privilege to watch. In this lecture, Randy Pausch talks about how he made his life a success and how he made his childhood dreams come true. There was a lot to be learned from this lecture and lots of inspirational wisdom to help in my teaching career. One of the most profound things that Pausch said was "Brick wall are there for a reason: they let us prove how badly we want things." Everybody encounters some type of brick wall in their life and how they handle the situation dictates how they move forward. When it comes to teaching, we will constantly run into brick walls whether it is dealing with administration, fellow teachers or even students. When you fight through that brick wall, it will show someone just how important something is to you. Another thing that can be learned from this lecture is "Anything is possible and that is something we shouldn't lose sight of." Because somebody believed in the possible, electricity was discovered, computers were invented and cell phones are more popular than landline phones now. As teachers we have an opportunity to help students believe in the possible and discover something we think is impossible. Pausch stated "when you're screwing up and nobody is saying anything anymore, it means they've given up" and that is a statement that really needs some reflection. If we were all to think about all the people that have come in and out of our lives, we will remember the ones that once cared and would speak up to correct you and then one day they just stopped and those people have less impact on your life today. As a society, we need to learn how to accept when people are saying something about how we are screwing up and turn that knowledge into power and become better. Of course, it's also in how you say something to someone and while honesty should be given, you can also have some tact and not be condescending.

quote by Randy Pausch about brick walls
While watching this video, I spent over an hour writing down lesson learned after lesson learned and came up with three pages of notes. My notes are just short sentences or key words that I know is only half of the important information in the lecture. I look forward to rewatching this video and taking more notes of all that I missed. Of all the advice given in this lecture, the one that stood out most to me was "never lose the child-like wonder - it's just too important, it's what drives us." I love walking into a classroom and watching the faces of the students as they discover something new or figure out how to work a math problem out. Elementary students are going to learn soon enough about gun violence, drugs, job loss and illness but right now, most students aren't affected by any of that. As a teacher, I have the opportunity to teach them anything and everything I can because their thirst for knowledge is extensive. As a teacher, I can also learn that by always having a thirst for knowledge, I will only become a better teacher.

1 comment:

  1. Hello my name is Duane Nelson and I am a student in the Wednesday night EDM 310 class. I have really enjoyed reading your blog post. I agree completely that this is one of the best influential videos that I have seen yet. Like you mention, it is an amazing feeling watching students faces light up with excitement when learning new things. I also look forward to watching this video again. Good job and keep up the hard work!