Walt Disney World. Also known as the happiest place on earth. The place where you are immersed in the magic of pure imagination. I’ve always said I want my classroom to be one of the most exciting places on earth, like Disney World. Scented parade floats to engage everyone’s senses. Light up concrete to make you believe in magic. Leaves that sparkle in the dark that cause you to wonder if fairies are real. A castle that looks like the kind you dreamed of when you were five. A roller coaster that makes you think you’re zooming through space. Music, lights, sounds, scents, and all the stuff that kids dream about. In one place.
It is clear that when Walt Disney said “Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children,” he meant it. He understood kids. He ‘got’ what engages people. He created an experience that develops wonder, inspires imagination, and instills dreams.
We’ve spent so much time focusing on tests and collecting worksheets in our schools. I get that. Those are the things we’ve come to associate with learning along the way. Misguided traditions. But, it’s time we associate what learning is really about. More time focusing curiosity, imagination, and dreams. Teaching kids that ‘impossible’ is fun. Pouring wonder into our schools like it’s oxygen. Because inside every kid is a vision, just like the one Walt Disney had. A vision that we’ll never see if we don’t take the time to develop it, listen to it, and embrace it. A vision bigger than scores, worksheets, and points. A vision that will add something special to the world. We’ve just gotta remember where to focus, or we’ll miss it.