I’m half tempted to not even share this blog, because I don’t want its link, “I Wish I Taught at Hogwarts” to make my students, their parents, my administrators, anyone to think I do not cherish and enjoy my job as a Horace J. Good Hawk (Or as an Abe Hubert Hawk before). I LOVE my job.
BUT before I am a teacher of reading, and before I can be a teacher of reading, I must first be a voracious reader. I recently re-watched a childhood favorite, Hocus Pocus, and for the first time in my life it struck me that I really do identify with Winifred Sanderson’s relationship with her book perhaps more than I ever understood the relationship between Thackary and Emily, or Max and Dani, or even Winifred and Billy Butcherson. I understand her relationship with that book: “Did you miss me? Mommy missed you!” Excepting the mother part (My books are more my friends and life coaches than children), this relationship was the most profound to me.
I can track my development with books. My earliest memories center around the American Girls, specifically Samantha. From there, I eased myself into The Boxcar Children, and then The Baby Sitter’s Club. After The Baby Sitter’s Club, but before I began with my next love, I remember a void which was filled with here and theres (I distinctly remember wearing out a copy of Where the Red Fern Grows) but there was no great, defining book series. Not unsurprisingly, this time period also coincides with my worst academic behavior and my greatest struggle personally. Thank goodness for The X-Files. I distinctly remember reading fan fiction (good, bad or ugly) and finally, emerging as a writer of much (really terrible) fan fiction.
I couldn’t tell you the first time I read a Potter novel, or an Anne Shirley novel, or one of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants novels. I just couldn’t. Perhaps this is because those characters, those stories, those worlds have integrated myself completely into who I am.
As for teaching at Hogwarts: My students always start the year thinking I’m Madame Umbridge. Right about now they start to believe I am more Professor Snape. By the time Spring Break rolls around, I have morphed into Professor McGonagall, where I irrevocably stay for the rest of their careers. And this is an analogy I am completely comfortable with. I would love to roam J.K. Rowling’s fictional universe, to fall into the Prefects’ “hidden swimming pool” bathtub, to learn at the hands of the masters.
It’s not that I don’t love Horace J. Good Middle School. I adore it. But nothing, absolutely nothing, encompasses my love of learning quite like the idea of Hogwarts.