- Lynmara Colón
Your Guide to Running a School Like Disney World
The happiest place on earth.
Every year, millions of people flock to Disney World, the self-proclaimed “happiest place on Earth.” Many return year after year to spend their hard-earned money despite the long lines and unpredictable weather. Why? Because of the magical feeling that exists there, and the way people who run the park make them feel. No matter where you come from, what language you speak, or your disability, Disney offers magic for all.
At Mary Williams Elementary, we strive to create a similarly magical feeling. We put our guests—students and parents—first, and work hard to keep those behind the scenes feeling inspired and supported. We also invest in digital technology that we believe can engage students, as well as make the teacher’s job more enjoyable. After all, who wants an autograph from a grumpy Mickey Mouse?
Of course, some people may argue that a school shouldn’t be likened to a theme park, or that entertainment and education don’t mix. We disagree. It’s this student-first way of thinking that’s helped our school go from a School of Improvement to a School of Excellence in just two years. With over 1,000 students, it’s not always easy, but we take pride in the fact that although the lines are long, students come every single day looking forward to the magical moments our classrooms offer.
“When I started at Mary Williams, two things were clear: students weren’t fully engaged, and it wasn’t teachers’ faults”