What can we learn about teaching and learning from Randy Pausch?
Watching Randy Pausch's video about achieving your childhood dreams is more than just achieving your childhood dreams. Dr. Randy Pausch is a professor at Carnegie Mellon University and he has given people a "head-fake" while giving his last lecture. A "head-fake" is a term coined by Dr. Randy Pausch which is used to describe learning something without knowing you are learning it. His speech was titled, "Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" but it was much more than that, it was very different in a very meaningful way.
Dr. Randy Pausch talked about not giving up on your childhood dreams and that there will be walls in the way. Those walls aren't there to stop you, they are there to show you your dedication for something you want. Walls are in place to stop people who do not have the dedication to get past. Getting past a wall may be wonderful, but there will always be more walls, so it is important to never give up your dedication.
Getting past a wall in life is never guaranteed, you must receive feedback and listen to it, don't just put the feedback off onto the back burner. To quote his younger self's football coaches' assistant, "When you're screwing up and no one is saying anything to you anymore, that means they gave up." meaning the feedback we receive, however harsh it may seem, is there to help us improve, not to bring us down. With the feedback we listen to, we must self-reflect on that feedback. We must learn to improve, because if you want something bad enough, you must be willing to do whatever it takes.
It is important after achieving something, to show gratitude. Dr. Randy Pausch mentioned we never do anything alone and he is right. Those that help us are the ones we owe gratitude towards. A way to show gratitude towards those who helped us, is to help others the same way they helped us. Great learners are great teachers, and when you realize and learn that people helped you, you can give back what you learned by teaching and helping others achieve their goals and dreams.
Dr. Randy Pausch mentioned that loyalty is a two-way street, meaning if you put faith into someone that they are likely to return the favor. I can speak for personal experience that this is true, I did not realize how well I could do in math until one teacher believed in me and gave me feedback which I listened to. I believe I am returning the favor to my math teacher by becoming a teacher myself and doing what he did for me to others. Dr. Randy Pausch upholds that idea by his anecdotal evidence of what he achieved and what he helped his students achieve.
He ended his speech by saying that his lesson isn't about how to achieve your dreams, but is a "head-fake" in how to lead your life. I not only am in agreement, I am also in participation.