I just finished watching the last lecture of Dr. Randy Pausch, what an amazing man! To be faced with the news of cancer and only a short time to live and to be able to continue to have that attitude and response to life. His statement in regard to life being about your reaction is so true! Your personality truly shows in your reaction to the "brick walls" as he discussed. I loved the idea that the brick walls are there to stop the others that don't want the item/idea as much as you. They are there to find out who is truly motivated. I loved that he shared his childhood dreams and that by achieving his dreams, he was able to touch the lives of so many other people. How true it is that when we take the focus off of ourselves and make it about others, life becomes so much more fulfilling and happy. We achieve so much more when we help others. It appears that is the story of his life and what a success it was!
I really liked the lessons that he talked about that he learned from others in his life. I once had a softball coach that had us practice without a ball as well. I never really understood the philosophy behind it until he talked about his football coach. It really is about knowing the fundamentals. It takes the whole team to be a success, not just the one with the ball! I am often asked why I make myself crazy involving my kids in so many sports. It is for the exact reasons that he spoke of. "The head fake" lessons. Children learn so much about teamwork, helping others, playing together, sharing, etc. by being on a team. I also like the idea that he carried the team aspect over into the classroom. I think that students can learn just as much as if not more by working in teams. Everyone sees things in a different way and when exposed to all these different thoughts, it often sparks creativity and enthusiasm. I think that teamwork and group projects are an important part of education. These projects can be incorporated into every aspect of education. I think students learn better and learn more when participating in the process and working with others. When in a group, it is just more fun! It's the head fake lessons, most of the time you don't realize you are learning. You often see it as a time for socializing, yet you are learning. What better way to teach - then when they don't realize they are being taught!
I also liked the fact that he wasn't afraid to try something new. Starting the BVM class and the ETC classes were a risk. No one knew how they would be received. No one knew the outcome. But, he had developed such a relationship with the school and he had such the personality that they were willing to take that risk. And what a great decision that was. I think it would be safe to say that the students amazed him in their abilities. I think this idea could be applied to all classrooms. If we give the students the support and the ability to use their talents without too many restrictions, we will always be amazed at the outcome. I think to often, we get stuck in a rut and we do that which has always been done when it would be much more effective to be open minded and to think outside of the box. I think in regard to technology and the advances that have been made, we as future educators have to be willing to change, we have to be willing to take risks and we have to have faith in our students ability to amaze us!
And, finally, how awesome would it be to know that you have touched as many lives as he has. To have inspired so many people. To have changed the way education is approached. To have been able combine all aspects of education, the right and left side of the brain. To teach without the student knowing that they were learning. I think we live in a hands on society. Children want to be entertained and our jobs as teachers have to change with that mentality. We have to be able to break through the brick walls, whether it be lack of funding, lack of equipment, lack of parental support, lack of administrative support and provide this type of education to them. We have to involve the student, motivate the student, and incorporate technology so they stay entertained and on target. We have to give them the tools and support they need to develop their creativity and as an aside, they will in most cases amaze us and teach us more than we have ever taught them!