Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams
In this blog, I will summarize all of the things discussed by Dr. Pausch in the "Last Lecture" that I believe are nuggets of wisdom for a future teacher.
I think first and foremost, Dr. Pausch reminds us that teaching is "an honor and a priviledge". We should believe that teaching is the most important profession we could choose with an unbelievable amount of responsibility. We should want to be pioneers in our field; always wanting to try new things or new ways of doing things. This will not be the easy road, but he encourages us to never give up. As a teacher, I don't need to make the journey alone. It is important that I find a network of supporters, as I have discovered through several of our previous assignments. I also need to work as a team with the other teachers in my field. In order to be a good teammate, I must be honest, sincere, grateful, and forgiving. I also must be able to offer a sincere apology when I mess up and focus on helping others. A great suggestion, is to ask other teachers for their feedback. In doing so, I should take their feedback and use it to improve myself and the course I am teaching. I must be prepared. I want to be the type of teacher that brings her best to the classroom everyday.
As I was watching Dr. Pausch's lecture, the one question that kept jumping out at me was, "will my teaching help kids reach their childhood dreams?" In order to be able to answer yes to this question, there are many nuggets of wisdom I must instill in my students. One is to teach students that learning can be fun. I need to make it exciting and provide opportunities for them to share this excitement with others. This can be achieved by taking education beyond the classroom, either through hands on field trips or through global technology. Getting students involved is very important. They need to bond with and encourage one another. They need to learn to work in groups and share what they do. I also want my students to know that they have value. Everyone is good at something; it just takes some longer to discover it than others. I need to instill in my students the importance of hard work and determination. It's important that I challenge them to always strive to do better. I shouldn't set limits, instead I should give students the opportunity to amaze me.
Since I am a person who appreciates visual illustrations, I love the example Dr. Pausch uses to explain the attitudes we can have when faced with a difficult situation; we can either choose to be a "Tigger" or an "Eyeore". Dr. Pausch had every right to be an "Eyeore". At the time he was giving his lecture, he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was given at the most, six months to live. During this time, when he had very little about which to be encouraged, he was still being an encouragement to others. When he had very little future left to envision, he was still giving others a vision for the future.
In his lecture, Dr. Pausch states that "brick walls are there for a reason; they let us prove how badly we want things." This saying makes me look at challenges from a whole new perspective. I've always made the assumption that when one door closes, another one will open, but do we really have time to wait for another opportunity? This makes me think that sometimes we need to bust the door down if it's something we desperately want to achieve. After watching this video, I asked myself how badly do I want to be a teacher? What brick walls will I face and how will I face them? Do I want to teach because I want to help children achieve their dreams? Will I live every day like "Tigger"? "The Last Lecture" is one of the most inspiring videos I've ever watched and I wish I was able to tell him that today.