Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: An Educator's Point of View

After viewing the 5th movie in the Harry Potter series, I really enjoyed the film. I'm glad I didn't go in there knowing everything that happened in the book. I believe it gives me a fresh take on the film and a greater appreciation for it. I do think that the movie has persuaded me to go back and reread the books. I might have to go back and reread the 6th book to catch up with the seventh. The mind has a way of losing track of important events.

The movie may not have included every meticulous detail, (I wouldn't know, not rereading the books) but I do think that it captured it's tone. The portrayal of Dolores Umbridge is great. In a way I compare her to some of my grammer school teachers: strict, old-fashioned, and out of touch with reality. There are some scenes, I absolutely loved. The Weasley fireworks spectacular being one of my favorites. This is one of the few happier moments at Hogwarts for the students when everything else is discouraging.

I think the overall tone of the book is that some rules are meant to be broken. This is coming from a teacher that just made up a long code of rules and ethics for the upcoming year. I do think some rules should be specific and that's my reasoning for my code of ethics. For instance, if I don't allow gum in my classroom, that needs to be stated somewhere. However, if it comes down to the safety of students or "muggles", by all means would I allow my students to break the rules. I think the movie and the book is a lesson for educators. Teachers should not be carried away with rules . And for the No Child Left Behind supporters, not all knowledge is based on facts that come from a book, but learned in real life situations. To paraphrase Harry, passing exams are simple and you can always try again, but fighting Voldemort is a very real thing, it's the test of your life.

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