Saturday, October 26, 2013
Blog Post #10
Randy Pausch was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University who battled pancreatic cancer and is famously known for his inspirational lecture The Last Lecture.
"What can we learn about teaching and learning from Randy Pausch?" -Dr. Strange
Where to begin? Randy Pausch discussed many topics in his lecture that will influence me as a future professional educator. Mr. Pausch stated in his lecture, "We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand." When he stated this, I immediately thought of scenarios in my future classroom that this could apply to: What if I teach in an area where funds are lacking and the tools I would like to use in my classroom are limited? What if I end up with a class of students that are behaviorally difficult to teach? From this segment I learned that it is important to make the most out of each and every opportunity and situation I am given in my career as a professional educator. I need to look at every "situation" as an "opportunity" to excel beyond my imagination. My goal in my future classroom is to impact and influence each and every student I teach regardless of the "cards I am dealt."
"When you are 8 years old and watching TV and a man is landing on the moon, anything is possible." -Randy Pausch
When students share their dreams of what they want to become, it is important to encourage their dreams, not discourage them. Students will share with me all sorts of dreams and aspirations. From this segment I learned that regardless of my students' hopes and dreams, I encourage my students to achieve whatever they wish, and let them know that I believe in their ability to accomplish whatever they set their mind to. I want to teach my students that anything is possible if they are dedicated and devoted to their passion.
Randy Pausch mentioned a statement he heard throughout his career, "Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." This statement is something so valuable I want to convey to my future students. When solving a math problem, you might try five or so ways to try and solve it before you actually get the answer right. Once you finally get the answer right, you now know all the ways NOT to solve that problem. This same scenario also applies to daily life. Not only is it important to teach my students the content/standards required by the state, it is important to prepare my students for life outside of my classroom.
Randy Paush learned from John Snoddy to give people time to impress you. This statement will be crucial in my future classroom. Just because Andy cuts up in class the first day of school does not mean I should label him as a "disruptive" student. Just because Sara made a 50 on her first spelling test does not mean she will fail the 3rd grade. Just because the teacher down the hall does not agree with your frequent use of technology in your classroom does not mean that teacher won't eventually change their thoughts on your actions. From this segment I learned not to make quick assumptions. I learned to give everyone a chance to try again, try harder, and/or to change their perspective.
Something very valuable I learned from Randy Pausch's lecture is that giving students a bar to to meet is doing them a disservice. If you do not set a bar, students will rise far beyond your expectations. If I tell my students that this, this, and this has to be done for this project to receive an "A," more than likely, my students will not try to excel beyond my expectations. If I give my students more of a voice/choice and I merely act as a guide throughout the project, my students will have more of an opportunity to rise far beyond my expectations. A student will never know how much they can achieve unless they are given the opportunity and/or freedom to hold the reigns.
From Mr. Pausch's lecture, I learned to aspire to break the mold. This is something important for me, the future educator, and my students to aspire to do. I want to break the mold of a burp-back education. I will encourage my students not to be afraid to break the mold. Breaking the mold will mean stepping out of my comfort zone and taking a chance for the betterment of not only my students, but other educators as well. In order to encourage my students to break the mold, I will have to exhibit that drive and desire to break the mold as well.
Something else I learned about teaching and learning from Randy Pausch is to be self-reflective and actually listen to feedback. In order to be an effective teacher, I have to be able to accurately assess my teaching strategies and listen to and apply the feedback I receive from my boss, fellow teachers, students, and even parents. As a future educator, I will be constantly seeking out ways to improve my abilities as an elementary school teacher.
Randy Pausch was an advocate of project-based learning and letting kids have fun while learning something hard. How boring is it to learn difficult content in a non-engaging classroom setting? I can recall many of those boring "learning" scenarios from my experiences in grade school. When I become an elementary teacher, I have to make everything fun! What is the best way to make a lesson fun? Create an engaging environment and apply the material/content to real life.
Respecting authority while questioning it is something very valuable I learned about teaching and learning from Randy Pausch. Not only does this statement apply to me, it applies to my students as well. In order to be an effective teacher, I, at all times, have to take actions that are in the best interest of my students, even if that means questioning authority along the way. Questioning authority will be difficult and probably something I will not look forward to doing, but as long as I do it in a respectable manner, I know I will be doing my job as a professional educator. I want my students to feel comfortable challenging me with questions and concerns because not only will they be learning, I will be learning too.
Randy Pausch's "The Last Lecture" is a very informative, encouraging, and inspirational lecture that all aspiring educators should watch/listen to. From this lecture I will take many ideas, thoughts, and strategies and apply them to my pedagogy in my future classroom.