Sunday, October 10, 2010

Blog Post 7- The Last Lecture

After watching Randy Pausch's "Last Lecture", I feel enlightened in things that are not the standards associated with teaching. He goes beyond books, lessons, and papers in educating students. He showed his perseverance to achieve his childhood dreams and how to assist others in achieving theirs. He discusses all the people who surrounded him and supported his dreams. We hope that our students have a family who support them and help with their dreams. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. I feel that as a future educator, it is part of the job to help your students achieve their dreams. You don't always have to do grand things to help them. Sometimes it is simply showing them support and it helps them work harder to know someone had their back and believes in them.

I feel his statement that brick walls are only a way to keep others out who don't want it bad enough is a true statement. Brick walls happen in life and it seems that there is no way to continue that path. However, he shows that sometimes you have to be creative and that if you want something bad enough, you can find a way to make it happen. Also, even if you can't be exact on making your dream come true, sometimes there is a good alternative that is just as satisfying. Probably every student at the University of South Alabama, minus a few very fortunate ones, have encountered a brick wall of some sort and it is up to us as individuals to find a way around it or to tear it down. However, this is usually much easier when we have people behind us who support us. Personally, I hope in the future that I will one of those people who is supporting my students to fulfill their dreams.

He also shows us that students are capable of more than we initially believe they are. By his Building Virtual Worlds course, he shows that when students are interested in something, they can do more than you expect. He states that it would be a disservice to students by setting the bar when you don't really know where it should be set. No matter what you teach, there is a way to be creative and keep you students interested. I feel that many teachers fail in this aspect and only teach the subject matter without ever trying to get students involved or interested. This is a good point in that all students learn differently and it is up to you as a teacher to engage all students and make sure they get more out of your classes than simply passing. Dr. Pausch shows us that he was creative in starting this new course to involve students and get them excited about something.

Another point I have taken from this is how positive he is. He is months away from death and he is still very enthusiastic about the projects he has worked on and the students he has encouraged. Additionally, he speaks very highly of Carnegie Mellon University. It is important to have your employer support you in your endeavors. This alone helped him achieve his dreams, through allowing him creative freedom to develop his own course and help other students achieve theirs. He has left his professional legacy with the Alice program, which enables children to have fun while learning something hard. He will live on through this. I'm sure we all, as future educators, hope we will leave our own legacy as well.

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