Kung Fu Panda 3: Takeaway for Teachers

At the very beginning of the movie, Po says: Never underestimate the power of a dramatic entrance, and the Panda team sure knows how to practice what it preaches. Right from the get-go, Po and his comrades give you an adrenalin rush, the effect of which lasts even after you walk out of the theater.

There are very few teams in Hollywood that are as consistent as the Panda team. The makers of the Oscar-nominated franchise have struck a chord, yet again, with their audience. From hoots to laughs and occasional sniffles, the audience can’t help but let their feelings show.

It’s a treat – not just a visual one – to witness Po’s transition from a student to a teacher. And by the way, Po essays some cool new Kung Fu moves that are totally groovy.

The movie not only focuses on the importance of knowing oneself, but also throws light on the significance of understanding the factors that make you, you.

The Panda team knows how to show and not tell, which is evident throughout the movie. Although the wisdom in the movie is age old, the way it’s shown is something that makes it really special.

Now, a sneak peak into the story (spoiler alert!): Part 3 of the Panda franchise puts Po in a situation that requires him to fill his teacher’s shoes. Now we all know Po is Po, and Po in his inimitable style messes up his very first class, which gets him thinking about his future as a teacher. I’m a rookie teacher and I could totally relate to Po.

Here are some points teachers like me could benefit from:

  • Be yourself: Po has his unique style and so should each one of us.
  • Be cool and funny: Having a sense of humor can help you through any difficult situation. Being able to laugh at yourself is a strength. Po is goofy and he knows it, and above all, he laughs at it!
  • Know your strengths: Po identifies what each of his panda student is good at and focuses on honing that particular skill, instead of forcing them all to learn the same set of skills.
  • Learning is eternal: A good teacher is a great learner. Shifu entrusts teaching to Po so that he can go learn other things.
  • Be humble: When Po eventually masters the art of harnessing Chi (the fundamental life force), Shifu humbly bows to Po and asks him if he can teach him too. Shifu also accepts Oogway’s decision to make Po Oogway’s successor.

IMHO, Oogway and Shifu belong to the category of coolest teachers ever! And yes, so does Po.

I hope my journey will be as interesting as Po’s… I guess I’d be better off trusting the Universe to take care of everything. That would be the wisest thing to do, right? 🙂