Randy Pausch: Last Lecture Achieving Your Childhood Dream
Randy Pausch's Last Lecture on achieving your childhood dreams was not only informative but very inspiring. I would like to start off by saying I would suggest anyone who has not watched this video to watch it now. As well as other lectures made by Pausch. Honestly, I was not looking forward to sitting in front of a computer for over a hour but I felt like it was over as soon as it started. I could have watched another hour or more. He knows how to grab your attention immediately. He opened explaining his battle with liver disease and how that battle would be coming to an end soon. He hit three major points in his lecture including his childhood dreams, enabling the dreams of others, and lessons learned.
His first point was of his personal childhood dreams. He had his childhood dreams listed, and I am jealous that I never wrote my dreams down as a kid. I know what my dreams and ambitions are now, but I wish I could remember my childhood dreams were other than wanting to playing every sport possible. Something Dr. Pausch referred to was a "brick wall" and he hit the nail on the head. I know throughout my teaching career I will be giving obstacles, whether it be parents, students, administrators, anything or anyone, I will have to remember the reason I chose to teach, to teach my students through the passion I have for the subject. I think that could possibly be one of the hardest things to remind yourself of when everything, as it seems at the time, is telling you to stop. Reminding myself that even though I have critics, maybe major ones, they are showing me how much they love me and what I do will be hard at times, but anything worth while is not easy, right?
Dr. Pausch's second point was to enable the dreams of others. I think that is one of the main jobs as an educator. We shouldn't focus on what they think they cannot do, rather believe in them and make them believe they can do it too. Something that stuck with me was when he said, "There are two ways to say I don't know," but I think it could go with any question. I absolutely believe you can do one of two things by the way you answer questions. If a child comes to me about something he or she is genuinely interested in and I answer with a rude remark or answer it could turn them off or away from their dream. However, if I make them believe I am completely on board with whatever it is that they what to do they will move full steam ahead on achieving it. I know as a kid, and even now, I don't go to someone with something important to just anyone; I go to someone who I value the opinion they give to me. If a student comes to me, I need to remember I'm not just some random person, I am important to them and so is my opinion and the way I present it to them.
Lastly, Dr. Pausch covered what he called "Lessons Learned." Specifically how to achieve our dreams or enable others to achieve their dreams. He listed many things you can do to achieve your own or enable. A few stuck out to me: don't bail, work hard, and don't complain. If I have told me softball team these three things once, I have a thousand times. I was surprised to see him list them even though they are pretty obvious. He also mentioned finding the best in people, even if it takes a long time for them to show it. I know this is difficult for everyone, including myself. Sometimes your personality just clashes with someone else's personality, but as an educator you cannot let that effect you. There may be some students will not be interested in what I'm saying or teaching but I cannot let that effect the way I treat or speak to them. I can't bail on them, I can't complain about them, but I can work as hard as I possibly can to grab their attention each and everyday. I think I have decided at the end of each year to let the students write anonymous suggestions to me so I can better myself each and every year, if I think I don't need to change anything I will be time to change my profession.
There are so many things from this lecture that I will write down in my "When I'm A Teacher" notebook to use. Dr. Randy Pausch had an amazing way with words and how he got his point across. He can keep people's attention like no one I've listened to before. I will remember this last point; Be prepared: "luck" is where preparation meets opportunity. He truly has inspired me in the videos I have watched of his lectures and will be forever grateful.