Yesterday we watched the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary special. Emma Watson said something that resonated: “Stories give us places we can go where we can rest and feel held.”
When I think of the Harry Potter series written by J.K. Rowling, I am grateful for the impact it has had on so many. At the beginning of my career, I watched my students (many who were not interested in reading previously) voraciously read each book and anxiously wait for the next.
Rowling gave children characters to connect with, an escape into another world, and ultimately a reason to read. For many, this was the first time they saw books in this way.
One of my favourite things about the Christmas season is that I inevitably end up with a stack of new books to read: places I can go to escape and rest from our world, characters I can connect with or learn from, a way to lose myself and find myself, too.
Some see a stack of books as a chore; I see them as adventure, opportunity, and solace.
As you reenter your classroom this new year, engage in a conversation about books with your students. Ask what they’ve read, tell them what you’ve read, ensure that they see reading as an acceptable and exciting way to spend their time. The power of story is more profound than we might think…