What Can We Learn About Teaching and Learning From Randy Pausch?
What I learned from Randy Pausch goes beyond just teaching and learning. He describes stories, tells us about his obstacles and leave us in shock in his final statements. We learn that we can’t change the hand we are dealt. What he means is that situations and things happen in life that we can’t change but we must accept them and move forward. Randy’s topic of discussion is not about how he is expected to die in 6 months from a tumor or about religion and what he feel he need to accomplish before he dies. Instead, he talks about his childhood dream and how he has worked his whole life to reach that dream.
Randy is a professor and he mentions how he gave a new assignment to one of his classes and the results he received were beyond his imagination. His assignment was to have his students create a piece of work on a 2-week project. He was so mind blown from what they produced that he called his mentor to ask how do I tell my students that they all just received an A. His mentor said to him do not tell them, instead let them know they did ok but you expected a little more. He told Randy that he obviously didn’t know the limits of his students and that by giving away the excitement he could possible cage their possibilities. As a future educator that example meant so much to me because coming in as a new teacher you don’t always know your classroom limits and once you do limit them to certain work you eliminate the room for progression, creativity, and critical thinking. Never set the bar for your students because you are limiting them.
Randy left us with his final notes; he gives us ideas and things he thinks are important to use in life. The first was always remembered we can learn from our students. Always have fun with what you are doing, never lose the child-like wonders, help others, loyalty is a two way street, never give up, apologize when you mess up, and focus on other people. He also says brick walls let us show our dedication, they are there to separate us from people who really don’t want to reach their childhood dreams. Don’t bail, when people give you feedback but cherish it, show gratitude, don’t complain just work harder, find the best in everybody, and always be prepared. In the end Randy drops his two head fakes of the whole entire speech. The first one was that the discussion was not about chasing your childhood dreams but instead it was about how you should lead your life. And the second was that this final lecture was not for the audience or the people watching around the world but it was actually for his kids.
As Randy walked off the stage he received a standing ovation. His message was so empowering. I know it touched and open the eyes of many people in the audience. How could a man standing there in his final days smile, laugh and give credit to all those people who helped him along the way. Randy was a powerful man and presented a much-needed speech for the entire world to see. I will share his story and this link to others and hope they are just as motivated as I am to achieve my childhood dream and go after what I want in life. Thank you Randy Pausch.