Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday's Five - Walt Disney Quotes

Friday's Five is a feature every week where I pick a new topic and list five items that I think fit best.  Then I ask you, my readers, to share your thoughts in the comment section.  For an archive of past topics, check the Friday's Five Page.  If you'd like to make suggestions about future topics or discuss topics I bring up on the blog with others, make sure you click the "like" button on the right hand side of the page to join A Teacher's Life for Me on Facebook.  Don't be shy about sharing the blog and Facebook Page with others.  Each post has a "Tweet" button on top and buttons on the bottom that allow you to share in several ways, including e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter.

Flickr/Express Monorail
Right now I'm on vacation with my family at the Most Magical Place on Earth, Walt Disney World.  On top of enjoying the wonderful experiences that this place provides for myself, my wife, and our two kids, I have increasingly become fascinated by Walt Disney, the man.  As I've learned more about him and read different biographies and accounts of his life,  I've come to realize that many of his core beliefs match up with some of the topics I've blogged about and believe in strongly, such as the need to teach through storytelling, the need for innovation and creativity, and that people are most productive when they are inspired by what they are doing.

Below are five quotes by Walt Disney that I've found inspirational.  I'm sure there are lots more out there.

  1. "Imagination is the mold from which reality is created." - The beginning of Walt's introduction to Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland could be found in a 25 cent pamphlet that was sold during Disneyland's early days.  We need to promote imagination in our students and find ways to keep educational policy and standardized testing from forcing us to "educate" it out of them.  
  2. "Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children." - This quote of Walt's can be seen inside the American Pavilion at Epcot on the lower level.  I think most of us who became teachers would agree with him.  It's probably what inspired us to pursue our jobs.
  3. "All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them." - I'm not sure the origin of this quote, but I love it.  On one of my bookshelves at home I have a small statue with this quote on it.
  4. "Around here, we don't look backwards for very long.  We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things because we're curious, and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." - This quote of Walt's can be found at the end of the movie "Meet the Robinsons."  Walt's constant vision to the future and for finding creative solutions to problems is something we can learn a lot from in education.  
  5. "That's the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up.  They forget.  They don't remember what it's like to be twelve years old.  They patronize.  They treat children as inferiors.  I won't do that." - This quote is from Walt Disney World:  Then, Now, & Forever, a theme park exclusive book that was sold by the Disney Company.  To me, it sounds a lot like great advice for elementary teachers and politicians who make educational policy.  Stop being such adults all the time.  Allow yourself to be fascinated.  Allow yourself to wonder and search for answers along with your students.  Treat your students with respect and let them follow their dreams and curiosities instead of worrying about covering material all the time.
Now it's your turn.  Which one of the above quotes speaks to you?  Do you have another Walt Disney quote, or quote from someone else that you love?  What are your thoughts on Walt's quotes or some of the things he accomplished and/or created during his lifetime?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below, and pass the post along to your friends and colleagues.  We'd love to hear what they have to say as well.