Back-to-school season is always exciting for kids—but for math teacher Kyle Hubler's students, this year's first day of school was downright magical.
Hubler, a middle school teacher in Hillsboro, Oregon, decided to transform his classroom into a Harry Potter-themed wonderland. Not surprisingly, he and many of his students are massive Harry Potter fans (but then, who isn't?!!?) and the dedicated teacher knew they'd be incredibly excited to walk into school and see the classroom decorated to reflect this.
Hubler spent about 70 hours transforming the classroom into a real-life Hogwarts of sorts.
"I did a small version of this last year, where I covered one of the walls and put up some stuff, but I didn't completely transform the classroom. [This year] I wanted to go over-the-top to really get the students excited to come to class every day," Hubler told Parents.com.
He scoured garage sales and party stores for supplies. While PB Teen has recently announced a Harry Potter line, Hubler didn't have these pieces at his disposal—instead, he made many of the decorations himself.
"I kept it a secret from [the students] the first week of school. When I let them in, most of them kind of froze there for a second and their jaws kind of opened up. They were in awe. Then it was just a mad rush to look at everything," he said. "I am a huge Harry Potter fan myself, so I had a ton of this memorabilia. I thought I could put it to better use to engage my students. I wanted my students to see me as not just their teacher, but as somebody they could relate to and connect with. That was kind of what inspired it."
Hubler knows that not every single one of his students is as into the Potterverse as he is, but he hopes to use this classroom theme to find common ground with each member of his class.
"When I'm teaching I'll make math problems that are related to their hobbies. A lot of them like soccer or Taylor Swift, and so I really try and connect with them on their level. The classroom decoration was just a way for them to get to know me, get them into class and get them to open up."