A little bit of magic goes a long way, and a few lucky third graders were treated to the full Harry Potter wizarding experience after their teacher decked out the entire classroom in all things Hogwarts.
Randi Elmore — a second- and third-grade teacher at Mojave Elementary School in Mojave, CA — took it upon herself to give her classroom this magical transformation during back-to-school night, creating an interactive display of Harry Potter decorations to better engage her students with books and reading. She and her husband even made an impressively detailed Whomping Willow out of chicken wire and pool noodles, complete with Arthur Weasley's stolen Ford Anglia. "I try to make it as Harry-Potter-themed as possible so that the students keep that level of engagement with the literature," Randi told POPSUGAR via email.
A hardworking Hufflepuff, Randi made sure every important detail from the series was represented, including Hagrid's "reading hut," a sorting hat, a house-elf-themed classroom chore board, a trolley for special raffle treats from Universal Studios, a Daily Prophet news board, a Quidditch goals board, and white board erasers made out of Dobby's socks. The students are even split into houses according to their seating chart and can work to earn house points. "I do have to admit that I was a bit envious because I would have loved to get my acceptance letter as a kid," Randi said, and I couldn't agree more.
"I wanted my classroom to feel like a safe place that was constant and stable to my students."
Having grown up attending midnight releases of the Harry Potter films, Randi knew the impact the series could have on children and wanted her students to experience the same magic that fostered her own love for reading. "I wanted my classroom to feel like a safe place that was constant and stable to my students, and the first thing that came to my mind was Hogwarts," she said. "The idea that they would be able to leave their problems behind and step through my classroom door into an entirely different world was my goal. My other goal was to create a level of excitement about literature." Consider my inner Hermione Granger absolutely enchanted.
All in all, Randi hopes that her hard work and dedication to making her classroom as engaging as possible for her students will make them more excited about reading and inspire parents to read more with their children. "Teachers spend so much of their own time, money, and resources to benefit their students and classrooms that all teachers deserve recognition for their passion and love for students," Randi added. "They deserve so much credit for their dedication to their jobs."