Kyle Hubler should be a top contender for Teacher of the Year, and the school year has only just begun. The seventh and eighth-grade teacher in Hillsboro, Ore., spent 70 hours over the course of five weeks to create a magical environment for his students. Inspired by Harry Potter, Hubler didn’t miss a detail while decorating his classroom like Hogwarts. He brought Harry Potter items from his home, and then spent his own money on the remainder of the supplies. He scoured hardware stores, Facebook Marketplace, and secondhand sources to make the money go further. In the end, what he created made his students audibly gasp on the first day of school.
Growing up, Hubler benefited a lot from the Harry Potter stories. The Huffington Post spoke with the teacher:
“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 hopes his classroom makeover will inspire his students to reach for their dreams. As a child, he wished to one day go to Hogwarts himself. Since that obviously wasn’t a possibility, he did the next best thing by creating Hogwarts in his own school.
“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 — who goes by Kyle Ely (Hubler) on Facebook — had incorporated some Harry Potter themes into his classroom last year and got a positive response from his students. Their reactions inspired him to take it all the way this year, and his efforts clearly paid off. He posted images of his beautiful work on Facebook.