Recently, my husband and I went on a trip to Disneyland. Down each street we were met with a new adventure, be it clouds of bubbles, a parade, or an attraction. As I thought about the joy that I experienced at Disneyland, I was overcome with the beauty that came from Walt Disney, one man with a fairly simple dream. Now each day as families enter The Happiest Place on Earth their lives and hearts are turned away from the cares of the world and to a place where anything can happen, even magic. In the same way that Walt Disney changed the lives of those who enter his park, we can change the lives of those who enter our classroom. Through our teaching, we can introduce our students to the magic of imagination, the possibilities of hard work, and the power of creativity. We can make our classroom have the same power over the hearts and minds of those we teach through small and simple means.
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that “the biography of the world is written by the lives of a few stout men.” Although I deeply respect and admire Emerson, I think that he couldn’t be more off base. The biography of the world is written by those who change it, even in the smallest and simplest ways. It is written by Walt Disney, a man who dared to create a company surrounded by love and imagination, it is written by the child who stops to say hello to the janitor, the mother who wakes up five times a night to feed her crying infant, and the teacher who gives everything they have to education just so that others can succeed. You see, there will always be those who make the headlines, never forget those who made them. As a teacher we choose to give of ourselves to those we teach so that others can rise. Though this work might seem simple, it will have effects on generations to come, just as Walt Disney’s did.