An Oregon teacher transformed his classroom into a magical oasis.
Kyle Hubler is in his fourth year of teaching seventh and eighth graders at Evergreen Middle School in Hillsboro. When he found out he’d be moving to a new classroom for the 2017-2018 school year, he decided to decorate it around one of his and his students’ favorite themes: Harry Potter.
“I love Harry Potter because of the impact it had on me as a kid. Being a kid can be tough sometimes ― there were times when I felt weird and that I didn’t belong to any circle of friends, and reading the books was a way to escape that and feel like I did belong,” Hubler told HuffPost.
“As I grew up, I became more skilled in socializing and developed stronger connections with friends, but the lessons in the books about acceptance, loyalty, and integrity stayed with me and inform a lot of the philosophy I have in my approach to teaching and how I interact with my students,” he added.
Hubler had incorporated some Harry Potter elements into his classroom last year, and his students really liked it. So, he decided to go bigger with his new classroom.
He brought his own collection of Harry Potter merchandise from home to the school and worked on decorating the room a month before the new year was set to start. In total, he spent about 70 hours over the course of five weeks setting everything up.
“Many of the supplies were purchased at hardware stores or online and the expenses were out of pocket, but I found creative ways to keep the costs down by looking for things second hand at garage sales and on Facebooks marketplace,” said Hubler.
When it came time to unveil the classroom on the first day of school, the students reacted enthusiastically. “I heard audible gasps and saw jaws drop to the floor,” he said. “They were scrambling around the room to inspect every little detail and were excitedly showing their peers what they discovered.”
This response is exactly what Hubler hoped for. He said his students were first and foremost what inspired him to make this magical classroom.
“I really love what I do, and I love the students I get to work with. I want them to feel like my class is a place they are excited about going to and to have fun learning,” said the teacher, adding that he hopes people who see his classroom feel inspired to pursue their passions in life.
Hubler also shared photos and video footage of his classroom on Facebook. The post has been shared more than 16,000 times.
“As a kid I remember my biggest dream was to go to Hogwarts someday, but I knew that I could never truly go there and that was a disappointment to feel like I had to give up on that dream,” he said.
“When I became a teacher and started talking to my students about their dreams I realized that I had the power to make my childhood wish come true. It wasn’t necessarily in the way I imagined as a kid, but it still feels like I made my 12-year-old self proud and fulfilled that kids dream,” he added. “I want my students to feel like they can achieve their dreams as well, no matter how big or magical.”
Keep scrolling for more photos of Hubler’s magical classroom.