Other, pp.40-41, 2018
Two years ago there were a series of events in my life that inspired me to devise some slightly unusual teacher-training techniques. First, my twins had reached the age where they began to ‘get into’ J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, both the books and films. Repeated readings and viewings ensued during the winter break. Revisiting the series as a teacher-educator, I noticed the depictions of the highly ritualised school environment and the teachers in particular. The second event was the sad loss of Alan Rickman and the effect it had on my prospective English language teachers. January 2016 witnessed many gloomy faces in the department and laments on social media over the passing of ‘Severus Snape’. It struck home what an important place the series had in the lives of some of my student-teachers. Indeed, many of them had been motivated to learn English in high school because of Harry.
Third, while all this was going on, I was preparing the schedule and material for a course on classroom interaction skills that I was to teach for the first time. Why not incorporate the interest in Harry Potter and the images of teachers into my new course? Why not support academic readings on teachers’ beliefs and classroom interaction patterns with striking and engaging images of familiar teachers?