This new feature, Bubbly Berls Babbles (or BBB), is kind of an adaptation of my old feature, Fun Questions, back at Fantasy is More Fun. And the title tells it all. I’m Bubbly, I’m Berls, and I’m about to Babble about something! I hope you’ll babble along with me 🙂
Today Bubbly Berls is Babbling about: Hogwarts Classes
So a couple weeks ago I started a 3 post series on things that stood out to me this millionth re-read of Harry Potter. And I came to the conclusion that Hogwarts Teachers are not, for the most part, the best of teachers. They kinda suck. But I also came to the conclusion that part of this is not their fault. Their class sizes and load are ridiculous!
Okay, I don’t know exactly what size their classes are. But I do know that every student in years 1 through 5 takes the core classes: Potions, Herbology, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Transfiguration, History of Magic, Astronomy, and Charms. And each class is made up of two houses.
JK Rowling has said in interviews that there are about 1000 students in Hogwarts. If you divide that by 4 houses, that’s roughly 250 kids per house. Divided by 7 years, that’s roughly 35 or 36 kids per year per house. So… that would mean that each of the core subject classes taught in years 1 through 5 have roughly 70-72 students! Could you imagine?! That’s an insane number for a high school level class, requiring the amount of individualized attention some of these subjects could warrant!
Now, in years 6 and 7 they don’t all take all the classes, because they have to have achieved NEWT level. And there’s really nothing in the books that indicates class size. But I think it would be fair to assume that at least 30% of the kids achieve NEWT status per year. And since they don’t take them with their houses, but with all other NEWT students of their year, I think a safe estimate would still be about 40-45 students in an advanced level class! Geez!!! That’s intense!
Number of Classes
Okay and then we have the number of classes each of the core teachers teach… they have years 1 – 5 plus two NEWT level classes each. That’s seven classes and seven DIFFERENT skill levels to prepare for each week! And some of those classes meet multiple times a week.
The lesson planning for that number of classes and skill levels would be insane! Especially since the students live at the school and the teachers have around the clock duty watching and caring for their safety – serving as heads of house, etc.
Electives and other classes
I have neglected to talk about Flying, Care of Magical Creatures, Divination, Ancient Runes, Muggle Studies, and Numerology. The teachers for these classes have a better deal, but when you start thinking about it, still not too easy!
Flying is a 1st year course only, taught by Madame Hooch, who we really don’t see much in the book beyond that first lesson and Quidditch matches. So I’m not sure what her work load is like. I’m thinking she may have the best gig on campus.
Care of Magical Creatures is years 2 – 5 with optional NEWT years 6 and 7. This one is almost as bad as the core classes in terms of class size and levels. I don’t get the impression that anyone really took NEWT years, though, so that’s a bit easier. Then again, Hagrid did the teaching job while also being Game Keeper for the school! Geez! Talk about extracurricular duties!
Divination, Ancient Runes, Muggle Studies, and Numerology all started in year 3 and continued into NEWT levels. Since they are purely elective, I get the impression that their class sizes were much smaller. Manageable sizes even. The levels are still quite varied, though.
Long story short? Being a teacher at Hogwarts is not so easy! But I’d gladly take a Muggle Studies post 🙂 It’s an elective, so not as demanding and it’s Hogwarts. Yes, I realize Voldemort tortured and killed the Muggle Studies Professor. But he’s been gone for 19 years 🙂