Sunday, June 21, 2015
Blog Post #8 - What Can We Learn About Teaching and Learning From Randy Pausch?
On September 18, 2007, Randy Pausch gave a rather funny lecture (Randy Pausch's Last Lecture) on his childhood dreams, enabling the dreams of others, and how others can achieve their dreams or enable others to do so. My post is more pointed at his experience as an educator. As a Carnegie Mellon professor, Pausch loved the fact that the teachers had the reigns. He loved that there were no deans to report to, that the mold of everyday class could be broken, his classes were project based, the students loved it, and there were field trips! As I watch his lecture and see how much his students loved this kind of work, it really makes me want to incorporate it into my own lesson plans when I am a teacher. FREEDOM helps a lot when it comes to teaching out of the box.
One point Pausch makes about teaching, advice that he had received from his own mentor, is to push your students to do better, even if they are already showing great work. If a teacher does not continue to push, students will set a bar and think they never have to go beyond that. He makes a point that we as teachers can learn from our students. He also says to NEVER GIVE UP. We have to learn that it's okay to ask for help, and know that we can't do everything alone. One way to learn is to get a feedback loop and to use it. So tell the truth, be earnest, apologize when you mess up, and focus on other people. His final advice was to be good at something, work hard, find the best in everybody, and to always be prepared!