Teaching Tip Tuesday – Shake things up with a creative game

Ever think you’re going to get blank stares from your students? Afraid you’ll be the only one talking during your lesson? Shake things up with a creative game. Mine is called “Need for Speed.” I’d love to hear some of yours.

This will be our last Teaching Tip Tuesday video of the year. I’ll be back with more in January. Merry Christmas!

How to Be Like Walt

I’ve been really busy reading recently, and I wanted to share with you one of the books I read – “How to Be Like Walt: Capturing the Disney Magic Every Day of Your Life” by Pat Williams.

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Pat Williams is the Senior VP of the Orlando Magic and a tremendous author and motivational speaker. If you ever get the chance to hear him speak, you will thoroughly enjoy it. He puts complex principles of leadership in words that anyone can understand and in a way they will want to apply.

In this book, Pat uses extensive research and interviews with over 300 Disney studio employees and actors to tell the story of Walt Disney. At the end of each chapter, he has a leadership lesson called “How to be like Walt.” Some of these lessons are “Become an Animated Leader,” “Unleash Your Imagination,””Dare to do the Impossible,” and “Build Complimentary Partnerships.” Each one of these lessons pull directly from the story of Walt’s life that was just shared in the chapter.

Pat told the story of how Snow White came about. Before Snow White, animated characters were not realistic, and usually they were personified animals. Also, cartoons were shorts, no more than 7 minutes long, and usually shown before a feature film. Walt thought the world was ready for a full length animated feature. He risked all the money he had in the studio to create the movie Snow White. Walt’s animators also lacked the skills to draw realistic human figures. At the time they were working on Snow White, Disney released a short called The Goddess of Spring which featured a fairy in a human form. The public hated it. The fairy looked rubbery and fake. Walt knew he needed to do something or Snow White would flop, so he began an intensive art training program. As months passed, the Disney Animators improved so much in their technique that they had to re-animate initial scenes of Snow White. The lesson here was “Take Risks.” Walt’s idea of producing a animated feature length film with realistic humans had never been done, and certainly his studio was not in the financial place to risk a financial failure. Walt not only knew this film would be a success, but he was willing to do all he could to improve the skills of those who could make it a success. Walt and Roy Disney budgeted $500,000 to make Snow White. With all the revisions and the cost of the art training program, the movie went quite over budget, but the $8.5 million it made in its initial release a smashing success.

The stories and lessons in this book made for a great read. You learn about how Mickey Mouse came into being and how Disneyland and Walt Disney World went from vision to reality, as well as the back stories behind many favorite Disney movies. You’ll learn tons about Walt. He’s not painted as larger than life. You’ll see the virtues along with the vices, but more than that, you’ll see what a creative innovator Walt Disney was. You’ll want to read it and pass it on to your friends.

Tuesday Teaching Tip – Be Thankful

Hi friends! No teaching tip video today because we are in the car heading over the river and thru the woods to grandma’s house for Thanksgiving. But I do have a quick tip: be thankful. Thank your student for coming to your class. When they answer, give them an affirming response. If they’ve been missing your study a bunch and they suddenly show up, tell them how happy you are that they’re back because you’ve missed them. When they open up and share what God is doing in their lives personally, thank them for their openness. Remember ministry is about people. Let gracious words always be on your lips. It’s a tip we all need to hear. Happy Thanksgiving!