Sunday, March 3, 2013
Blog Assignment #7
Randy Pausch's Last Lecture
I am obviously not going to retell everything that was in this video or even discuss how I felt about ALL of it only because is was about an hour and 16 minutes, and I'd be here typing, and you reading, for a really long time if I did. Still, I would like to touch on some of the phrases that he said during this video and how they affected me and my thoughts on my future classroom.
The first part of his lecture was about "My Childhood Dreams" and I have 5 phrases that I would like to get you to think about:
The first is, "Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome." I love this! Imagine a Thanksgiving day dinner in which the guy who was supposed to be in charge of bringing the turkey didn't bring it! No one would want him to even be there anymore. Life, education especially, works easier if everyone contributes what they know to everyone else. This is a lesson I can use with my class everyday when working in groups. Everyone must bring what they know to the surface and share it with the others in order to solve the problems.
The second quotes is the definition of what he calls a "Head-fake" or indirect learning, "The best way to teach somebody something is by making them think they are learning something else." I know this from experience because when you play games that are fun, and it feels like you aren't learning, the material sticks! I will definitely try to find games and activities or labs for my students to do so that they can stop focusing on learning and start thinking about solving problems.
A third is, "When your screwing up and no one is saying anything to you anymore, that means they gave up on you." This in itself says all I need to say about it. It teaches me that I should never stop correcting a student who is wrong even if I have to repeat myself 50 thousand times. I don't want to give up on any of my students.
Another, "Wait long enough and people will surprise and impress you. You just haven't given them enough time." This one, I believe, coincides with the previous. Though I may have to repeat myself over and over and over to get a point across, don't lose hope because they will always impress me eventually. I just need to be patient with them and try new methods.
Lastly, this quote is a tough one to read because in today's society with all the emailing and texting it is hard to hear tones. "There is always a "good way" and a "bad way" to say the same thing." For instance, telling a student that they are wrong, yet again. You don't just want to say, "You're not even close. Have you even been paying attention in class?" Instead, you might say, "This answer is wrong because you began using the wrong method. Remember this morning when we went over the new method? Try using that."
In the second part of the lecture, Pausch discussed how he wanted a way to help more than one person at a time to achieve their childhood dreams so he created a course called Building a Virtual World. In this section, he talked about his class and mistakes he made and ways to go about not making them. His first mistake was assuming he knew how smart his students were. His lesson to us is, "You don't know where the bar should be set and you're only going to do them a disservice by trying to set it somewhere. Let them show you where the bar is set and then you raise it from there." I love this because it's so true. Just because it took all your past classes 2 weeks to finish Chapter 1, doesn't mean that it will take this year's classes that long or it may even take them longer. Don't assume that because previous classes learned well from a particular approach that all others will too. Basically, don't teach based on the past. Teach based on the present.
The other awesome point he brings up in this part of his lecture is, "Are you a Tigger or an Eeyore? Never lose your child-like wonder, help others." If you have ever watched "Winnie the Pooh", you know who these characters are and that Tigger is a big bundle of joy and fun who loves to help others, and Eeyore is a gloomy cloud of depression who secludes himself. I think the point he is trying to make is that everyone should dig down in themselves and find the child (or Tigger) within them that makes them joyful and happy and wanting to help others. Also, it is about checking yourself. It is something that you should ask yourself every single day to determined if you are in the right mind set to really impact your students' lives.
The last thing that Pausch does is recap his lecture in a list which I will list for you:
1) Brick walls are there to separate those who don't really want to achieve their dreams.
2) Don't Bail
3) Get Feedback and use it
4) Show Gratitude
5) Don't complain just work harder
6) Be good at something, it makes you valuable
7) Work hard
8) Find the best in everyone
9) Be prepared: "Luck" is where preparation meets opportunity
This list is every powerful and is a checklist for us to being great educators, dare I say people, someday. Don't ever give up on your dreams regardless of whether it seems impossible or not. Most of them speak loudly for themselves, and I think would make a wonderful set of class rules to hang on the wall in our classrooms someday in honor of such a smart innovative man, Dr. Randy Pausch!
**He also lets us in on a little secret in the last seconds of his video. That this whole thing was a "Head-fake". Did you catch on?