I can just see the look on students’ faces as they cross the lake and see the towers of Hogwarts for the first time. Some may have plastered smiles on their faces, the type that make your cheeks hurt. Some may have fresh tear tracks from separation anxiety. The students get off of the boats and step into a hall full of moving pictures and shifting stairs. Jaws drop, fists clench and butterflies start multiplying in stomachs.
It is time to be sorted. Students think “please let me be Hufflepuff like my brother” or “my parents will never forgive me if I am in Slitherin”. The sorting hat has his say and everyone has their seat in their houses. Time goes by. Classes start. Homework is assigned. Can you imagine sitting in a history class being taught by a ghost? The same thing happens that happens in every classroom across the world. The newness wears off. Why do you think that J.K. Rowling had to have Harry come across Voldemort in every book?
Hogwarts becomes boring once the newness wears off. The students had to look for their own excitement. They had to be motivated within their own minds to get the education that their parents expected they get. Harry and Ron got homework help from Hermione all the time because they found classes boring. Hogwarts even had standardized tests and school boards. Wizards and Witches are terrified of receiving a “P”, “D”, or even “T” on their O.W.L.’s. The Wizengamot appointed Deloris Umbridge to be teacher of “Defense against the Dark Arts” because they wanted more control over what the students were learning.
My point is yeah Hogwarts would be the dream school for any wide eyed muggle but that would eventually wear off. Every kindergarten student I have ever watched enter a school for the first time has the same reaction as the students riding to the boats of Hogwarts for the first time. Their smiles are bright, the tear tracks fresh and their bodies stiff. By fourth grade it is all gone. They are doodling in their notebook when they should be reading “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”. At some point, just like Hermione, students need to find motivation within them to learn for the sake of learning. When a student is self motivated to learn, every school day will be like walking into Hogwarts for the first time.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Harry Potter books. The reason I love them is that in spite of them being fantasy, they are so realistic. There is something for everyone to love in these books. They offer a great break from reality, something we all need. They also shine a light on reality. They teach us to take advantage of the opportunities that we have to learn and to grow. They teach us to be self motivated and eager to learn.