Halloween. The day everyone looks forward to in October. A chance to become someone else. Late night trick-or-treating. It is finally here, but it is on a Monday.
Despite the atrocity of Halloween being on a Monday, the worst day of all days, English teacher Virginia Parra took this opportunity to transform her classroom into the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry based on the Harry Potter franchise.
“I love Harry Potter. I started reading the series in the 6th grade, and I go to Universal Studios [often] to [visit] the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It just felt right to finally recreate a childhood dream,” Parra said.
That dream was fulfilled when many features of the franchise were translated to features of the classroom, reflecting parallels between the two.
Platform 9 ¾, the train station that led to Hogwarts, was displayed as the door entrance leading to the classroom. The Great Hall, the main gathering area in Hogwarts, was presented as four different groups of tables decorated with candles. Each group symbolized one of the four houses―Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Slytherin, and Hufflepuff. Students were then sorted into these houses and were awarded house points during an activity involving vocabulary.
“A majority of my students read the books or watched the movies. They were excited to go through Platform 9 ¾ and to be sorted into houses. I was more surprised that some students even tried the every flavor jelly beans,” Parra said.
Additionally, an image of Hogwarts was projected onto the screen and theme music was playing, giving the classroom a Harry Potter ambiance.
Parra arrived at school around 6:30 a.m. to set up this configuration and finished in 30 to 40 minutes. She shares her final thoughts on the whole experience.
“I still think it would be awesome if the English department coordinated our outfits next year,” Parra said, after encountering the problem of never reaching a consensus among English teachers about what theme to dress up as for Halloween.
Although Halloween was on a Monday, it was not the usual Monday for English teacher Virginia Parra.