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29 January 2015

The Day I Realized I Work at Hogwarts ● by Jess

When I was little, my best friend Madeline and I were obsessively in love with Harry Potter. We were on the bandwagon before book two was even published and we waited with rapt anticipation for our own letters to arrive when we turned eleven.

Needless to say, it was the biggest letdown ever. Seriously, it still hurts.

Somehow I managed to recover, but only realised this morning that I have in fact achieved something that would have made littles Jessica swoon with joy. On the bus to school today, it dawned on me that am a teacher at what is basically the primary school version of Hogwarts.

I'm not exaggerating either... Here's why:

1) The Accents

I mean, I know it's only because I'm American, but golly I love the way my kids speak! Over time, you sort of acclimate to it and you don't realise how irresistibly cute they are. That is, until one of them says something so British-y that your heart sort of oozes out love from somewhere you didn't even know existed. 

For example, this week I wore my hair down (I almost always wear it up) and I had two of my 4 year old boys tell me I looked "quite beautiful" and "rather fetching." I almost died.

2) The £££

Being a private preparatory school, it costs a pretty penny to attend-- though in this case it's pounds instead of galleons that do the trick. The great thing is that both feel equally as foreign to me, so it still seems like I'm in the middle of the books.

3) The Headmistress

Our headmistress is definitely a McGonagall type, though a bit younger and with bigger hair. You don't want to cross her; term-end teaching evaluations are more than mildly terrifying.

4) The Student Hierarchy

Getting to be head boy and girl at our school is really a big deal. Not only do you get your name on a plaque in the entry, but you get to lead assemblies and have quite a few other responsibilities. As far as I can see, they are expected to be absolutely perfect.  Other student positions include prefects and house captains.

5) Fear of Dragons

I work with a teacher from Wales that warns her students not to make her angry, "or else the Welsh dragon will rise up" from inside her and she'll unleash it on the children. She also tells the children her family lives in a castle... it has yet to be determined whether either assertion are true.

6) The Uniforms

So, my kidlets may not wear robes, but school uniforms are in full force (including the stripy winter scarves!). Still, their cute little blue blazers and overcoats are the bane of my existence. When it rains, these kids are expected to wear twelve layers of clothing and somehow I always end up with a mountain of clothes to sort out during their specialist lessons. Bleh.

7) The Gothic Architecture

Our school is in two buildings-- the main school is in a refurbished Victorian mansion, and the other (my building) is situated within a built up Gothic church. The main parish room reminds me of the Great Hall in Harry Potter.

8) The Pub

Not unlike Hogwarts professors, my colleagues like to blow off steam by heading to the local pub after work. Its definitely no Three Broomsticks-- and I don't drink-- but its always nice to spend time with friends outside of work.

9) The Houses

Like Hogwarts, my school separates the students into houses (even though it's not a boarding school). Instead of Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin, we have Balmoral, Windsor, Buckingham and Sandringham (named after the Queen's castles). Children earn house points for good behaviour and every week we get an update  on where the points are at assembly. The winning house gets a trophy and a party at the end of the year. 

10) The Food

The best thing about private school -- BY FAR-- is the food. My favourite (which we had today!) is bangers and mash [sausage and mashed potatoes] with yorkshire pudding [basically, popovers]. The chefs really do an amazing job... I hope they are paid well...

Anyway, there it is. The magic of childhood all bundled up into one private school-- who would have thought? ;) 

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1 comment:

  1. Charming! I love seeing it all through your eyes, although someday I would love to see it through MY eyes! Love you! xoxosby