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How Walt Disney Would Manage Your Classroom - Part Two

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Show Notes:

Let’s take a virtual field trip together! I want you to imagine that we’re traveling to Disneyland. It’s a beautiful day and the anticipation of what’s to come has you filled with excitement. When you walk into the park, what’s the very first thing you might want? Probably a map so that you can navigate your way around efficiently. 

What’s next? With all of the rides, and live shows, it would be really nice to have a schedule of the day’s special events. With those two tools, your map and your schedule, you’ll be ready to take on the day and really get the most out of your experience. Will Disneyland have these things ready for you to utilize? Absolutely! 

Let’s take a page out of Disney theme park’s design mastery book, and think about how it applies to our classrooms. Inside episode #224, we kicked off our Walt Disney classroom management series by talking about the foundational elements included in thinking through a legendary layout for your classroom. If you missed that episode, you can check it out here.

Today, in part two of this series, we’re going to imagine what Walt Disney would say about how to manage our classrooms. We’ll consider the importance of creating energizing expectations as part of your classroom management plan, and four things you can do to establish these expectations.

Just like we want a schedule of events when we’re at a theme park, our students also have the right to a clear schedule. They want to know what to expect during the various parts of the day, when their breaks are, when lunch and recess are, etc. 

Continuing on this theme, just like we expect there to be rules inside a theme park to keep everyone safe and ensure the experience is enjoyable, our students also expect there to be rules in your classroom that are consistently reinforced. This is how they feel safe. 

When we are clear about the rules and expectations we have in our classrooms, and when we consistently deliver consequences for breaking them, something wonderful happens - our daily classroom experiences become more effortless and enjoyable. We won’t be asked the same questions a million times, there won’t be constant confusion and stress, and our overall classroom management will be more streamlined. 

After listening to this episode, along with episode #224, you’ll have created your legendary layout and established energizing expectations for you and your students with a clear schedule, rules, and routines. Be sure to tune in next week to hear about the amazing third element of motivational magic, love, and sunshine.

If you are in need of more support with classroom management, download my free Ultimate Classroom Management Checklist. You’ll find out in 30 minutes or less how to bring order and imagination to your classroom. It will give you a clear path forward for the next steps you need to take towards creating the classroom of your dreams!

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

  • What it means to establish energizing expectations in your classroom, and how you can create yours..
  • How theme parks ensure that their guests have an enjoyable experience, and what we can learn from that.
  • The importance of having clearly defined rules and expectations that your students have been taught and had time to master.
  • A reminder that students count on certain things happening, and like to know the schedule of each day.
  • Questions to ask yourself to reflect on whether or not you have clear rules, routines, and expectations set for your students for every part of the day.
  • Solutions for the constant interruptions that come up during the day (like when your students are asking for a pencil every five minutes!).

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.

💛 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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