Randy Pausch's Last Lecture
Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture was inspirational! It was a "head fake" lecture to show us how to live our lives and to teach his children an important lesson. It made me think about all the dreams I have accomplished, every dream I have bailed on, and every dream I've let others convince me not to follow.
There are a few key points he made that stood out the most to me:
* Brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something;
* Learn/teach the fundamentals, the fancy stuff will follow; and
* Find the best in everybody, no matter how long it takes.
These are the best key points directly involved with teaching. Math is a subject full of obstacles, such as hard concepts, difficult problems, and confusing formulas. Math is also a subject that revolves around fundamentals. You cannot learn Calculus without knowing Algebra. It is impossible! Even further, you cannot learn Algebra with out knowing basic addition, subtraction,multiplication, division, and the number line. These points do not just apply to math, it applies to everyday life. I am going to teach these values in math and connect them to their life. One of most important points is to find the best in everybody. I want to teach high school students. High school students usually do not care if you give up on them and decide they are the "worst student ever". The student will tend to fill your idea of them. Why act good if they think your bad anyways? I will do my best to find the best in all my students.
Although not mentioned in the previous list, the most important point Dr. Pausch makes in his lecture, that definitely pertains to teaching, was to never set a bar. If you set a bar, your students will reach the bar, but not pass it. They see it as good enough. If you teach your students to be just "good enough", then you are not preparing them to be successful and ambitious. If you are not preparing your students to be successful and ambitious, what is your job as a teacher?
Towards the end of Dr. Pausch lecture, he advises us on how we can achieve our dreams and help enable others to achieve theirs. Although the first two points, "never lose your child-like wonder" and "help others" , were somewhat obvious, the last few points were not. These are:
* Tell the truth;
* Be earnest;
* Apologize when you mess up;
* Focus on others;
* Be good at something;
* Show gratitude;
* Do not complain, just work harder;
* Be self reflextive; and
* Use a feed-back loop.
I can use these to become a better teacher and produce better students. Students need to trust and respect a teacher and teacher needs to trust and respect a student. Many of today's students do not respect teachers. I am going to be honest with my students, focus on them, show gratitude for the things they do, apologize for lost test and wrong accusations, and be self-reflective to fix my mistakes. In return, I believe my students will learn to respect me and to "mirror" my behavior. Instead of complaining about my students behaviors, test scores, attitudes, and lack of ambition, I am going to work hard to correct these issues and never stop. Not only can I use these points, my students can use them. I will teach them to be self-reflective, to be honest, to not complain but to work harder, and to be earnest.
Everything Dr. Pausch mentioned in his video gives me inspiration to stop giving up and bailing on my dreams. I want my students to follow theirs. I must lead by example!