Every person has a set of labels that they identify with. Some of them are labels we are proud of, and others have a stigma. Like most people in my profession, I am a HUGE Harry Potter geek. When I did the Pottermore sorting hat, I ended up in Slytherin.
Every so often I get in a heated Harry Potter discussion with my kids (don’t get me started on the Snape and unrequited love stuff…), and I ask them what house they are in and disclose that I am a Slytherin. I’ve noticed that my kids have interesting reactions. One of my kids became genuinely upset, and kept trying to convince me that I was wrong. Several other kids tell me, “That’s the BAD house, and you aren’t a bad person.” The more I have these conversations with students, the more I realize that we pass judgement really quickly. We keep trying to convince our kids to imagine people complexly, but it is so easy to see the world in black and white.
Harry Potter is a great lens for us to show that there’s good everywhere. My students know that I am a decent person (or not…they’re allowed to have opinions). When I talk about Harry Potter Houses, I remind students that there is good everywhere. It’s a great way to challenge myself to build a good reputation when there’s a bad reputation standing in your way. For me, it’s a good analogy for students who are trying to change how people view them .
Most importantly, if you are a Harry Potter geek, own your house. This is a situation where we choose our labels and what legacy we are adding to our House and the world.