I’ve Got the Magic in Me

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Corp.

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Corp.

We could all use a little more pixie dust in our lives, right? Have you ever had someone go the extra mile to make your day a million times better than it was before? If not, take a trip down to the most magical place on Earth…Walt Disney World. Employees, known as “cast members,” are trained to do nothing but make your experience one you will never forget. When you arrive at their hotels, you are greeted with “Welcome Home” because they want you to feel comfortable in your environment. Everyone seems to say hello with a smile on their face and if you need something, then they will take care of it…even before you ask.

I recall an experience when I took my wife to Walt Disney World for our honeymoon; we were young and carefree. We walked up to the window of a restaurant and were told that there were no tables and the restaurant required reservations. The person did not say it in a rude manner, but it was indeed a policy of which we were not aware.  I disappointedly said something about our honeymoon under my breath, and to my surprise, the hostess heard and immediately said, “Well, let’s not ruin your honeymoon and get you a seat right away.” We skipped the entire long line and were seated immediately. As we went to the buffet for our meal, we came back to magical ‘pixie’ dust shaped like a heart at our table. We were greeted by several cast members who came by to tell us congratulations on getting married and wish us well. This experience was five years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. For the first time, this ordinary guy got to experience an extraordinary feeling of royalty. I have never forgotten that night and I am a raving fan, and a loyal Disney customer for the rest of my life.

Why do I tell that story? I tell it because, for our students, we are the ones who have the privilege to make magical memories with them. We have, in many instances, one brief period of time to make a difference and to turn an “I hate school!” into “These were the best years of my life.” Just like at the restaurant, education is full of policies, rules, and regulations that are designed and implemented for great reasons. The balance is in finding how we can work with these policies and create world-class experiences for our students that they will tell their kids about.

At Florida Virtual School, we believe that every student deserves a front row seat. We are determined to make that happen for every student who “walks” through our virtual doors. I can tell you that for an online math teacher, this is a mission that I do not take lightly. I believe that every student could use a magical moment in their education.

Do you have a magical moment in education that you would like to share?

Post by Shawn Wigg, Former Lead Teacher and 2014 FLVS Teacher of the Year

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