Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hope Restored

By this point, many of you have already viewed Randy Pausch's last lecture on YouTube or read the best-selling book version of his speech, already translated into 35 languages in less than a year. Diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given a only few months to live, Randy Pausch gave his last lecture to a packed auditorium at Carnegie Mellon University on September 18, 2007. His speech, titled "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams," has touched thousands of people, but it is especially inspirational for anyone interested in education. Professor Pausch leaves a lasting mandate, a legacy for educators, "...you might as well be selling something worthwhile, like education."

After a rather difficult day in the classroom - challenged by behavioral issues, disheartened by students already struggling, overwhelmed by grading, and left questioning my role as a teacher - I came home to watch Randy Pausch's last lecture for the first time today. Not only am I left with a feeling of hope, but his speech reminded me why I love what I do, why I hope to do it every day of my life. Without the challenges, the brick walls, I would not be the teacher I am today, or the one I am meant to become.