Sunday, March 1, 2015

Creating Disneyland

One of my first thoughts after I found out I had been hired was: "Which one of my 100 classroom theme ideas am I going to pick?"  And once I'd picked one: "How in the world am I going to make this dream a reality?"

Disneyland.  I was going to create Disneyland.

Panorama of my room from the front
Divider in the back of my room in attempt to form a wall to block out the hallway

I finally found a good use for all my ear hats!

Literature to Disney films
Class library is closest to camera, looking into my classroom from hallway
Since setting to work and creating my dream classroom, I have found myself in many conversations asking how I picked Disney, why I did, when I started loving Disney, and the likes.  Yeah, I love Disneyland.  Some of my favorite memories are with my family and friends at Disneyland.  But the thing is, my classroom isn't Disney themed because I love Disneyland.  It's because of what Disneyland stands for: magic, imagination, youth, belief, fun, laughter, memories.

I believe learning should be everything Disneyland stands for.  My classroom environment encourages and reminds my students to use their imaginations, believe in the magic of life and learning, enjoy being kids, be creative, laugh, believe in themselves and their classmates, and have fun.  The decorations prompt conversations about how Walt Disney created Disneyland from just an idea and allow us to draw parallels to our own learning.

My classroom environment also provides a fun, safe place for my students to come and learn each day.  For some, it serves as an escape from their home life.

Your classroom is your students' home 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, 180 days a year.  As a teacher, you "live" there many more hours a day, 5-7 days a week, and definitely more than 180 days a year.  I believe you have to feel comfortable there in order for your students to feel comfortable there.  It needs to be a place you love to be.


  1. WOW, I soooo wanna be a kid in your classroom! I wanted to send this out on twitter but feared someone might comment on the corporatization of the classroom. Kids don't know about corporate interests and so on, but they love Disney and I am sure they love your class the way you've done it. Awesome!

    1. Send it out as you wish, it's here for anyone and if that's what they focus on, I feel they're missing the point. ;-)

  2. Love the idea! What if we could approach education the way Imagineers approach new experiences in the Disney "worlds"? How innovative could we be if ever we could be free!