Randy Pausch is a professor at Carnegie Mellon and is well known for his last speech. He is a inspirational teacher and speaker. He gave this speech before he lost his battle with cancer and I must say I sure did enjoy watching this speech. He is a hardworking and dedicated man. And I wish I could be half the person he is.
In his speech, "How to Achieve Your Childhood Dreams", he tells us how he achieved his childhood dreams. He tells us numerous things to keep in mind such as: have fun, help others, never loose your child like wonder, never give up, and "it is always fun to do the un-imaginable". The statement about it is always fun to do the un-imaginable, is very true. I have done the un-imaginable with a student and when I broke that brick wall, it was the best feeling in the world. I volunteered with a student who was told he would never be able to speak correctly and he would have a difficult time getting along with members in society because of his lack of communication. Being told this I took it as a challenge. Every time I would speak to this student I kept getting told he's not going to respond to you unless you know a little sign language. That defiantly didn't stop me from communicating verbally. I always spoke to him and asked how he was doing, daily, and he always told me "fine" in sign language. I would always verbally say "fine" and sign it. One day, just like any other, I asked how he was and he verbally said "Fine, Thank you". And though it wasn't much it was the best feeling to see the teachers come over to me and the student and see how happy that student got when he got praises.
He tells us that brick walls are there for a reason. They are there to prove how bad we want something, not to keep us from achieving our goals. I completely agree with his statement. With teaching and the process, especially if you have special cases, there could be many brick walls that we can run into. Maybe the student cannot read very well, or cannot write to his/her potential; Does that mean we stop teaching them because they cannot do these two things well? No. We push through this brick wall and show how much we believe in the student and get the task completed.
Randy says that there are some steps on "How to Get People to Help You". He says "You can't get there alone. You must tell the truth. Be earnest. Apologize when you are wrong or screw up and focus on others, not yourself." He is right about not being able to do it alone and telling the truth. I've never been scorned for telling someone the truth or admitting I screwed something up. If anything I was praised for being brave and showing that sign of maturity. I would stress this over and over to my students. Sort of like my teachers always stress "there is no such thing as a dumb question".
Lastly, he says to work hard, be prepared, find something you're good at and be great at it because it makes you valuable. He tells us to get a feedback loop and listen to it. My mom is my feedback loop. She reads and re-reads everything before she lets me send things out or post things. She makes sure to be a constructive critic and not just mean or rude. My mom and Randy have a common motto: Don't complain, just work harder. I have heard that numerous times through out my 20 years and I plan on teaching that motto to my students and my children as well. Randy Pausch didn't want to be remembered for his cancer or what he had to face going through that, he wanted to be remembered for how hard he worked, and how caring he was. He wasn't afraid to push boundaries and do what he had to do to get to his goals. In my opinion he was a brave, caring, and faithful man. He admitted when he was wrong, instead of blaming others and did what he had to do. If people were more like Randy this world would be a brilliant place.