Staci Lamb, a ninth grade English teacher at Elkton High School in Elkton, Maryland, used her obsession with the J.K. Rowling book series as design inspo for the space.
“Harry Potter was the book that grabbed me and made me become a reader,” she told HuffPost. “I remember waiting in the midnight lines just to get the next book. That’s the feeling, the feeling of wonder and excitement, that I want my students to have when we read books and when they come to my room.”
Potterheads will recognize the many nods to Hogwarts, including magical little details like...
The Sorting Hat:
A trolley cart, like the one from the Hogwarts Express:
And the Mirror of Erised, among many others:
Lamb recently tweeted a video tour of the classroom, which has since gone viral with more than 1.7 million views. And, of course, the themed decor has been a hit with her students.
“Their reactions were priceless,” Lamb said. “One girl said, ‘Oh, this is lit! I like this class.’”
Another student called the room “very epic,” and another said it was “calming and aesthetically pleasing.”
Lamb started working on the Harry Potter decor two years ago, but things really came together this summer. Like many teachers, Lamb largely paid for the decorations out of her own pocket, though she also used some grant money she received to supplement (the rest went toward books and field trips).
“I have searched high and low for items from Facebook Marketplace, Goodwill, yard sales, college campuses and more,” she said. “I’ve even been fortunate enough to find some items for free.”
With her classroom, Lamb’s goal was to create a “home-feeling environment” for her students. She allows them to choose their seats because she finds it keeps them more engaged and dims the lights because many of the kids have told her they learn better that way.
“With that said, decorations do not automatically yield positive learning results,” Lamb said. “The day-to-day relationships and work that we do is the true magic!”