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 Teachers
I recently finished ANOTHER reread of the Harry Potter series. As always it was great and rather than reviewing a series that everyone already knows is great, I have a few BBB posts about things that came to mind for me while reading the books this time around.
This was my first time reading the books as a teacher and it’s funny how that made me think about things a little differently. I ended up with a couple takeaways:
- Hogwarts Teachers, as a whole, are not good teachers. There are exceptions, which I will discuss, but yeah – they would not survive the observations I have to go through.
- Hogwarts Teachers have a ridiculous number of students and classes! (and this could have a lot to do with them not being the best of teachers)
The good and the not so great teachers
In today’s post I’m going to focus on the Hogwarts teachers – I’ll return to the topic of classes and students in another post. I have three lists: the horrible, the ok, the good. Would love to see if you agree!
These teachers were horrible for a variety of reasons – some not because of their knowledge but delivery. Others because they suck all the way around.
- Professor Quirrell. He seemed to be one of the “textbook” teachers. As in, pull out your textbook and learn from it. Of course he also seemed afraid of his own shadow and was possessed by Lord Voldemort, so it’s probably good that’s the worst that could be said about his quality of teaching.
- Professor Binns. Y’all Harry goes to the window and gets Hedwig without Binns noticing – that’s how unaware of his students he is! Binns just drones on and on and on! And it’s unfortunate, because I think more knowledge of wizard history could have served Harry well in Deathly Hallows. It’s a good thing Hermonine paid attention!
- Professor Lockhart. An egotistical thief, who has spent his career wiping and stealing the memories of wizards much greater than he is. And clearly, he has no real skill beyond that memory charm, as his first classs demonstrates. Kids didn’t learn much from him…except maybe that memory charm!
- Professor Trelawny. I have massive amounts of sympathy for Trewlany when Umbridge strikes, but to be fair, Umbridge was kind of right about her. Is it her subject matter? Probably doesn’t help that it’s really about having a gift, rather than a learned skill. In fact, if it weren’t for her obsessive need to make up these horrible, doom and gloom prophecies, she might be on my OK list because her style, considering the subject matter, isn’t horrible. They “learn” about a skill and practice it. But yeah, she’s not a good one, that’s for sure.
- Professor Umbridge. Y’all Umbridge is quite possible my FAVORITE villain of the series. She’s just so awful, I think she’s my favorite character to hate. Even more than Voldemort, because Voldemort is so blatantly evil, whereas Umbridge’s style of acting like she’s doing right is so much more maddening. And she’s the definition of a textbook teacher. She taught nothing – they read a chapter each class period. And let’s not forget her cruel and unusual punishment style! The Worst!
The teachers on this list have some major flaws, BUT I think they COULD make it as Real Life teachers… if they dealt with those flaws appropriately.
- Professor Moody/Crouch. Here’s the trick with this one… in some ways Moody/Crouch really was a decent teacher. They learned a lot from him and he even was good for Longbottom (even if it was for ulterior motives). But he went too far with his unforgivable curses and yeah, he was a Death Eater in disguise, so… ya know. Not a flaw I think he could deal with, but if he decided to abandon Voldemort, maybe Crouch would have been a good teacher.
- Professor Snape. I think Snape is an okay teacher in terms of his knowledge of the material and ability to impart that knowledge (both in Defense against the Dark Arts and Potions). HOWEVER, his favoritism towards some students and obvious hatred towards others would never fly in any school I’ve worked at. I do love him though 🙂
- Hagrid. Oh Hagrid, you really love the scary and the misunderstood, don’t you? The thing about Hagrid is that he does KNOW his stuff. And there were a couple really good lessons mixed in over the years. Like when he took over after Grubblyplank was teaching them about the Unicorns. And I think he could have been way more successful from the start if it weren’t for Malfoy – that first lesson, scary though it may have been and maybe too advanced for the group he had, was good! He just needed to learn how to tone it down a bit I think… without going to the flubberworm extreme lol!
These teachers actually seemed to deliver a good lesson and deal with their students appropriately. They could probably survive observations no problem!
- Professor Lupin! The only really good Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. He actually followed the order in which you’re “supposed” to teach – he got a sense of what the kids knew, he modeled for them, let them try for themselves, and then followed through with extended learning for those that needed it. And he even nourished the needs of the “GT” kids – which, where Defense Against the Dark Arts is concerned, Harry certainly turned out to be 🙂
- Professor McGonagall! Now here’s a first rate teacher! I love that she shows no real favoritism towards her house, holding Gryffindors accountable, just as she does the other students. And her lessons – what little we see – certainly seem to have increasing rigor and plenty of practice coupled with instruction.
- Professor Sprout seems to be a decent teacher. She instructs, models, and lets them practice. The way Neville blossoms under her instruction in think is testimony to her aptitude.
- Professor Flitwick. I went back and forth between ok and good for Flitwick. The number of conversations Harry, Ron and Hermoine manage to have during his class is quite high. However, his comments indicate to me that he is aware and steps in when he sees them going to long without being productive. And when Harry and Ron are unable to complete the work satisfactorily because they spent too much time chatting he holds them accountable with extra homework. To me that says he’s a good teacher who doesn’t mind kids talking as long as they do their work. Which I can totally be on board with.
I know I haven’t included Hermoine’s Muggle Studies, Arithmancy,or Ancient Runes professors, but they are only briefly mentioned and I can’t say what kind of teachers they were.
As much as I would love to go to Hogwarts (or somehow get a job at Hogwarts), now that I’m a teacher I’m really struck by the fact that most the teachers were far from exceptional!