The Magic of Disney

“I only hope that we don't lose sight of one thing - that it was all started by a mouse.” - Walt Disney

Tell any child that they are going to Disney World and you have just presented them with the holy grail of childhood. Their eyes widen, their slack jaws quiver with excitement, and an unmistakable squeal of excitement erupts from within! But enough about what the parents do. Have you ever thought “why” kids love Disney world so much? Is it the television station? Perhaps their slew of teeny bopper music artists. Or their timeless movies! The sad answer is, none of the above. Before tele-vision, catchy tunes, and a band of cartoon characters, there was one, simple, definitive characteristic of Disney – a mouse. Mickey mouse to be exact (or Steamboat Willy, for all you professional Disney troopers). Nev-ertheless, how can a mouse (and not even a well-drawn one) eventually create an entire world of joy and happiness? Can the principles be applied to a classroom or school? The answer lies in several of Walt’s own words.

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pur-sue them.”

Being courageous means being willing to make mis-takes. We all have dreams of being THAT teacher and trans-forming lives but how many actually accomplish that? While many reasons can attribute to this, I believe the most prevalent one is the fear of failure. Our society has stigmatized mistakes that many have lost the creativity and imagination necessary to do what has never been done. So if your dream is big enough, run towards it with all you have, ready for mistakes and ready for success.

“Disneyland is a work of love. We didn't go into Disneyland just with the idea of making money.”

Since you have decided to be a teacher, this is almost granted for you. However, the thing that caused Disney to succeed where so many other companies failed is that it kept its focus on the work of love and not the money. By doing so, it also made the money. This isn’t a unique happening. By continuously reminding yourself about the love that brought you to the classroom and keeping your focus on the students, you become an incredible, life-changing teacher that makes the biggest difference in a student’s life.

“Of all the things I've done, the most vital is coordinating those who goal.work with me and aiming their efforts at a certain goal.”

That is quite a bold claim. More than building Disneyworld itself, more than Mickey Mouse, and more than any of his other accolades of accomplishments, the most vital was coordination and unity among those he worked with. How true this is in education where there is so much dis-unity from theories and practices and individual values. By getting EVERYBODY on board, the potential that education has not only for being an economic stimulus but also a plat-form for global change is unimaginable.

In conclusion, as a future teacher, take these incentives: Take risks, dream big, make it a work of love, and be the cata-lyst both in your classroom and in your school for unity and focus regarding education. The hardest step to take is always the first but also, in hindsight, the most rewarding. Be ready for mistakes but also ready for success. In so doing, you can create an entire world of dreams come true. As Walt Disney said, "It was all started by a mouse.”

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