Randy Pausch's Last Lecture
As I watched Randy Pausch's last lecture, I thought about the first time I ever heard of him. It was for a blog post we did the first of the semester and one of the questions asked by Dr. Strange was "do you know anything else about Randy Pausch?" Well, to me that didn't mean look something up, so I simply replied that I didn't know anything but, I gained a lot from the clip of his lecture. As I clicked the link in preparation for what I knew was going to be over an hour of video, I still knew nothing about Dr. Pausch. Then he started the lecture and I realized, wow! This man has passed away. Oh gosh, this video is 4 years old. I immediately thought, "dang!! He's such a joy to watch and really gives GREAT motivational speeches." As he opens immediately with jokes, slides of his cancer progression, I understand that not only does he just go out in the world and teach people to have faith to go for their dreams, he's actually a testament of what he preaches. See, I've been down in the dumps lately because I'm maxed out stressed with school this semester so after watching his last lecture, I spent a little while watching many other youtube clips of this man that had me tearing up, laughing, intrigued, speechless and mostly learning.
Before I move into the aspects of teaching he touched on I want to say that the main thing I received from this lecture was a life lesson, he said it out loud, "don't pity me." Those words, I stand by. I also stand by his theory on on the "head fake"!! Lordy who doesn't? For Dr. Pausch, his "head fake" was football. Mine is school. I remained at my job because what I do for the nurses at Providence Hospital is rewarding for me personally. Those guys and gals respect me as I do them. I decided going back to school full time, all while keeping a full time job would teach me values that I never received growing up. I was a spoiled rotten child. Mommy and Daddy can and WILL fix it all. I find a wonderful fiance', he does the same with me. I as an individual needed values and something to look forward to. Which brings me to how I will run my classroom. I believe that giving any child the opportunity to excel is what teaching is all about. You will have some children, God love them, that just aren't cut out to be scholars but, they can excel in arts, sports, etc. Pushing them to do something they enjoy teaches them determination, gives them goals, team work, things that will hopefully make them great human beings.
Brick walls are there for a reason. “They are there to separate us from the people who don’t really want to achieve their childhood dreams.” -- Randy Pausch. If this isn't the truest statement I don't know what is. I've heard this variation of words in many ways but, coming from him, it just makes so much sense. In a classroom the brick wall can be a number of things. The teacher can hit a brick wall and so can the students. For the teacher, the brick wall can be when he or she doesn't seem to be getting through to the students in a lesson. Does that mean we stop teaching? Does that mean we give up? No! That wall was there to prove how badly we want something. When a student hits a brick wall, it will probably be a little harsher. Kids are already young and impressionable so coming across something that basically knocks them down can do just that...KNOCK THEM DOWN!!!!! As educators we're taught that there will be goals and dreams that you will not reach. But, as children dreams are limitless. Dr. Pausch's last speech is so admittedly titled "Achieving your childhood dreams". I hope to be an educator who pushes a child to run so fast towards their goals and never look back.
If you can't make education for your students and yourself fun then why are you there? I know a job is a job but, if you take what you worked so hard to achieve, and make the most of it, then it has all the potential to be fun. Kids are stressful, teaching is stressful, grading papers is stressful, you will wake up on the wrong side of the bed, your students will wake up on the wrong side of the bed but you have to make the most of it. "You can not change the cards you were dealt, you can only change the way you play your hand." -- Randy Pausch. Although he used this line to describe how he intended to live everyday to the fullest, this is simply a motto to make life workable. Have fun in your classroom!!!!!!! (Randy Pausch insists he's going to have fun every day he has left, that's when the tears fell. ) Don't be an Eeyore, be a Tigger!!!!!!!!!!! Find the fun in everything. I hope that I can be the best educator possible all while making my classroom enjoyable. I wonder if Rafe Esquith ever had the pleasure of enjoying any of Randy Pausch's lectures? After reading "Teach like your hair's on fire" I have restored faith that classrooms can still be fun without being looked at like "oh that teacher just let's those kids play..blah blah" Nope!!!! We're learning, just taking a different avenue.
I will wrap up my blog by saying Randy Pausch gives so much motivation to take to your classroom. Never give up on your students, fight for them and their dreams because if becoming a great teacher is your dream, then that is most definitely a branch from that tree of dreams.