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How Walt Disney Would Manage Your Classroom - Part One

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Show Notes:

There’s just something about being at Disney World that is completely magical. βœ¨ πŸ° The world feels brighter, and even as an adult, it brings back the best memories.

Now, I don’t want to take the magic away, but what you might not realize is that theme parks like Disney World are carefully and meticulously designed to create that magical experience for you. It isn’t by accident that we feel this way the second that we enter these parks. 

Here’s the really cool thing. We can learn a lot about these theme park experiences as educators. We can use these same elements to bring some of that magic into our classroom and to improve our classroom management. 

I believe that there are five key areas of classroom management. These key areas are your classroom layout and organization of materials, your actual classroom management plan, your planning and assessment, your relationship with parents, and your mindset. These all contribute to create a solid foundation for the entire school year, and it’s never too late to improve in these areas.

So today as we head into a brand new year of possibilities, we’re going to get back to the basics and do a deep dive into your classroom management plan. We’re going to do that in a really fun way by talking about how Walt Disney himself would run your classroom.

I have three episodes for you on this topic, and this is actually a series that I wrote more than two years ago. It’s so good that I wanted to re-release it! This episode marks number one in the series, where we’ll focus on what we can learn from Walt Disney about creating a legendary layout for your classroom.

When Walt Disney dreamed of Disney World, of course he thought about the magic and epic rides. But first, he thought about the design. Where would the entrances and exits be? How would the flow of traffic move? Where would the bathrooms, food, and drink areas be? He needed a visual map to ensure that his guests would be able to move through the park easily. These types of decisions need to be made before anything else, and the same thing goes for your classroom.

The amount of time and effort that we put into thinking through the layout for our classroom space, and organizing our supplies and materials in a clear way, will greatly impact the amount of daily stress (or peace) we experience. Just like when you enter Disney World, you need to know where each ride is, your students need to know how to navigate your space.

I have six steps for you to follow that will guide you towards creating your perfect classroom layout, which is the first element for classroom management mastery. Be sure to come back for part two and three in this series, which will be episode 225 and episode 226. 

Rather than writing everything down that you learn in this series, you can download my free Ultimate Classroom Management Checklist. Inside, you will find out in 30 minutes or less how to bring order and imagination into your classroom.

Inside this week's show, you'll learn:

  • A recap of my five key areas of classroom management, which help to determine how streamlined our day to day experiences are.
  • The three elements that are present in every theme park, and should also be in your classroom.
  • How important it is that your students know exactly where everything in your classroom is, and how it’s organized.
  • Some simple and foundational elements we need to think about when setting up the physical space in our classroom.
  • 6 things you can do right away to create your own legendary layout in your classroom.

Links & resources mentioned inside this episode:

I hope this information is helpful as you prepare for your first, second, or third year of teaching. Until next time, remember, just because you're a beginning elementary teacher, there's no need for you to struggle like one.

πŸ’› Lori

Dr. Lori Friesen | Beginning Teacher Mentor

Creator of the R.E.A.D.Y. for School Academy, Dr. Lori Friesen has mentored thousands of beginning teachers across the country through her workshops and courses. Host of the popular podcast, Beginning Teacher Talk, and creator of the innovative literacy program for 1st and 2nd grade, Dogs Help Kids Read and Succeed, Dr. Lori is dedicated to serving educators and inspiring learners. Learn more at and at

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