Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

Randy Pausch's lecture is inspiring to anyone who listens to it. People can interpret this lecture on many different levels. Although he doesn't strictly outline techniques into one profession, all of them can be related to the professions around the world. As a future teacher, I will use the techniques that he talked about in my own classroom. Anyone who is a teacher or a future teacher would benefit from listening to this lecture.

This first point that Randy make in his lecture is that you can't change the cards you are dealt. As a teacher, you may be placed with a group of students that have the reputation of being the "worse students in the school", but you can't change the students you are given. One thing that you can change is the attitude in which you have and the attitude of these students. It is not the job of a teacher to blame others for these students actions, but it is the teacher's job to change these actions.

The whole lecture is focused on childhood dreams. In a classroom, teachers should encourage these dreams even is they are far fetched. Students need to have specific dreams of their own and not dreams influenced by their parents, siblings, peers, or teachers. We as teachers should be influenced by the dreams of our students and only help them to achieve these dreams. In order for any dream to come true you have to work hard and be determined to climb all obstacles.

Throughout life we are all faced with obstacles. As teachers, we don't want to be the obstacle of one of our students. We rather help these student face and climb over these obstacles. In Randy Pausch's lecture he talks about "brick walls." He states, "Brick walls are there for a reason; they let us prove how badly we want things." These walls are there to let people show their dedication and not to keep us out. As an educator, we should be helping these students face these brick walls and push them to succeed in everything they do.

The most important thing he talked about in his lecture was about "head fakes." His definition of a "head fake" is indirect learning. For example, he said that through football he learned the most valuable lesson of team work, not just how to do a three point stance. In a classroom "head fakes" can be used when working in group activities, working as a group to keep your area clean, learning a song that help with a specific skill, and many more. Many students learn better in a hands on environment.

Randy Pausch had many important things that I think are important for everyone to know. The following is a list that I feel will encourage people to reevaluate their life and/or profession:
1. Anything is possible.
2. Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want.
3. If no one is helping you when you mess up, that means they no longer care.
4. When you get pissed off or angry at someone, that means you just haven't given them enough time.
5. They way you say things can come across in either a good or bad way.
6. You can't get there alone, people have to help you.
7. Don't complain, just work harder.
8. Don't bail, the best gold is at the bottom of barrels of crap.
9. Find the best in everybody; no matter how long it takes them to show it.

After listening to this lecture, it has inspired me to want to focus on what is important to me as a person and as a teacher. It makes me realize that life is too short to worry about petty stuff and it that the way you live your life can inspire others. I think this lecture would be a wonderful tool to show students, teachers, future teachers, and anyone else who has a public profession. After all we are inspired by the people that come into our lives. The "head fake" of this whole lecture was: "It is not about how you achieve your dreams, its about how to lead you life. If you lead your life right, the dreams will come to you."

If you would like to watch this lecture please visit:

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