On Randy Pausch's Last Lecture
In this lecture, entitled "Achieving Your Childhood Dreams", is about how to lead your life, and was intended as a lesson for Pausch's children. Pausch is big into "head fakes", in other words he likes to make you think the you're learning about something in order to teach you about something else entirely. This method of teaching is interesting to me. I believe it could be useful in my classroom, because indirectly teaching kids a valuable lesson without them even having to know they're being tricked- that's genius. It's like that Chef Boyardee ravioli commercial, where the mom knows there's a full serving of vegetables in it and the kid does not. Kids can learn important life skills and information through lessons like the one Pausch teaches us in this lecture.
"Brick walls are there to stop people who don't want things badly enough." Pausch says that brick walls can block your way to any goal; you just have to want it badly enough to knock that wall down and get past it. I think this is an inspiring way to present obstacles that could potentially keep you from achieving a goal. Many children get discouraged when they repeatedly fail, it's called learned helplessness. They get to the point where they don't even want to try anymore. When I was in gradeschool, I struggled with math. I would get upset when I made anything below an A, and it happened a lot in this subject. I think if someone had presented math to me like a brick wall in the way of my "A", I would've felt a lot better about it.
Pausch hits on two very important subjects especially: loyalty is a two way street, and you will need help sometimes. It is vitally important to build relationships with people. Telling the truth, being earnest, apologizing for your mistakes, and focusing on others as well as yourself are all good ways to place your trust in someone, and to make sure someone has your back. I don't think it would be a bad idea to show part of this lecture to my students, and use some of Pausch's advice to teach them the valuable lessons he teaches in this video.
One of the most unique aspects of Pausch's lectures is that he always uses random quotes to support what he's talking about. For example, "Don't complain, just work harder." and "Be good at something; it makes you valuable." Quotes are always a good way to support and reinforce what you're lecturing about. It proves that there are people who agree with you. I intend to incorporate using quotes into my teaching. Bringing humor into a serious lesson can help convey your message as well. The quote "Don't bail: the best gold is at the bottom of barrels of crap." is a wonderful example. Comic relief is important in teaching life lessons to children because they get bored, and most likely they don't think what you're saying is important. Randy Pausch's methods are great for all age groups.