Culture clash, of sorts

My new “place” in the school is a loft  above the media center that used to be the computer lab. Whenever I am at my desk checking email or jotting notes, I can hear the media specialist working with classes downstairs.

Last week, while typing away on my laptop, I was dimly aware of a lesson on Cinderella Around the World with second grade, until . . .

“Any questions?—Yes?” asks the media specialist. I can tell by the tone that a hand is in the air.

“Are you a Hufflepuff?”

—Giggles. My own. There’s a whole subculture of Harry Potter mania at our school in which I may have played a small, a very, very small, part . . . .

“Ugghhh, no!” retorts Ms. S., the media specialist. “Ahem, I mean, not that there’s anything wrong with Hufflepuffs . . . .”

—This dialogue!

Another small voice: “What are you, then?”

Clearly the question of Hogwarts house identity is of vital importance. Cinderella must wait until it’s answered.

Which it is, magnanimously.

“I’m a Ravenclaw,” announces Ms. S. “And so is . . . . ” She proceeds to name several of our teaching colleagues. I get a fleeting sense of actually being at Hogwarts, where everyone belongs to a house.  “But Mrs. K. is a Hufflepuff.”

And Mrs. Haley is a Gryffindor, I mentally add, still typing up in my loft, surrounded by Potter memorabilia that kids across grade levels love to peruse.

“What’s Mrs. L.?” one of the kids asks.

“A Slytherin,” says Ms. S.

A collective GASP! from the class.

“Well, there are lots of good Slytherins, you know,” says Ms. S.

I stop typing.

Social psychology with Harry Potter. Breaking stereotypes. That could be a whole unit in itself . . . imagine . . . .

Poor Cinderella. No one seems to mind that her world tour is utterly derailed, at least for the moment.

—I am just waiting for the kids to ask what house SHE’D be in.

10 thoughts on “Culture clash, of sorts

    • -She knows. I had to do some investigative reporting to verify the grade level of the kids (2nd!) and she started laughing. “It was priceless,” she said. “I only hope I didn’t make a face when asked if I was a Hufflepuff.” The exchange made my day – and thanks so much for reading & enjoying. 🙂


    • Thank you! Teachers have as much fun with it as the students do. On our recent “dress up as your favorite book character day” we had dozens of Hogwarts-robed figures throughout the building, even in kindergarten! One student sighed: “I KNEW there would be so many Harry Potters today.” So many great convos surround those books. It’s a daily joy, truly.


  1. I have one student who LOVES the Harry Potter series. He’s going to be quite excited tomorrow when I begin my yearly re-read of the series. Right now he’s reading Book 3 & I have feeling when he sees me reading Book 1 he’s going to try to keep ahead of me. He feels like he would be an excellent Gryffindor and he thought I was one too. But I surprised him when I told him that I was a Hufflepuff. After I told him he grinned and said, “Makes sense.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOVE THIS. Love that you read the books to your class! I should have known you’re a Hufflepuff – your great warmth is a giveaway! Did you see that the illustrated Goblet of Fire is coming out in October?! The artwork is gorgeous – your little friend may flip! (ooo and what a gift for your room…) 🙂


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