Apart from the constant yearly threat of a dark lord plotting to take over the school, the typical student of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry also has to contend with professahs. At least, that’s the case for Harry Potter. Other students have it easier. More than half of Harry Potter’s professors are in the way of the Chosen One, and Quidditch.
So it’s understandable why some of them garner hate while some have become instant favorites for both Harry himself and the Potterhead community. Here’s a ranking of the best and the worst among Harry Potter’s professors, whether he solemnly swears that he’s up to no good or he has his mischief managed.
We’ll be omitting professors who haven’t had substantial exposure to the films, sadly, as it would be hard to gauge their personality and teaching methods due to their lack of visual exposure. Without further ado, the professor of the decade goes to…
Was this choice ridiculous?
Nope. Remus Lupin is the most fun teacher that Harry and Hogwarts have had in the entirety of the film series. He’s not strict, his teaching is ‘hands-on,’ and he’s generally a positive influence on students. Remus is also one of the few Defence Against the Dark Arts teachers who actually taught defense against the Dark Arts.
It’s a shame he’s an absentee teacher, though. But he usually makes up for it by being exciting and memorable in class. Free chocolates, too.
You can tell that Remus is a good man since he’s a dog person– he even smells like a dog; he probably stays up all night walking his pet dogs. That’s probably why he’s absent sometimes. Hmmm.
Now here’s a good professor who harbors no secrets whatsoever… or does he?
Well, unimportant. Hagrid is a hands-on and pragmatic teacher like Remus. It also helps that Hagrid’s subject is an inherently entertaining one, Care of Magical Creatures, fantastic beasts included. It’s perfect for him. Every class with Hagrid is like a trip to the zoo or a live BBC documentary.
If only he cared as much about his students’ welfare just as he did with his creatures. Oh well, Hogwarts has an efficient infirmary anyway.
Surprisingly, PE in Harry Potter is less brutal than PE in real life since you still get to sit, but instead, your view is the open sky rather than the boring classroom wall. There’s no better feeling of freedom in Harry Potter than being taught in broom class by Madame Hooch.
True, you probably don’t need brooms later on in life since you can just apparate for short distances or use a Portkey, but would you rather sit in class watching Hermione monopolize the discussion?
Speaking of Hermione being an ‘insufferable know-it-all,’ she seems intent on ragging Professor Trelawney’s Divination class. For some reason, conjuring death sparks and talking ghosts are acceptable to Hermione, but fortune-telling is where she draws the line.
Thankfully, we’re not Gryffindor buzzkills. Trelawney’s class is quite intriguing because who doesn’t want to know their future if given the chance? Besides, Trelawney is passionate about what she does and doesn’t care if a snotty Muggle is lambasting her very existence.
Professor McGonagall’s subject, Transfiguration, is actually engaging and creative. It’s her teaching methods that don’t seem lively at all.
For a magical subject that’s heavy on practicum, her class seems rather dogmatic. All of them seem to just spend their time in the classroom. She’s probably just too tired given her age so enthusiasm isn’t her strongest suit anymore. McGonagall is a little too strict either, unless you’re a Gryffindor.
Pomona Sprout thankfully has the proper classroom and set up for her subject, unlike McGonagall. Herbology in a garden is just fitting. And there’s plenty she can impart and teach to her students about the outside world.
But let’s face it, no one except Neville Longbottom likes gardening. The greenhouse is a humid and dirty classroom, and Professor Sprout is the type to promote icky herbal drinks that are a far cry from pumpkin juice.
Charms class is supposed to be fun, like Transfiguration, but thanks to yet another old and tired teacher, namely Professor Flitwick, it’s less of a class and more of a grammar 101 with Hermione (urgh).
Flitwick’s teaching method (particularly for first years) is to show them how well he can do a Charm spell and then tell the whole class to imitate what he’s doing because that’s totally how you should teach newbies.
You might as well just self-study the book and try the spells out on your own. Cut out the middleman.
Say what you will about Professor Slughorn, but at least he didn’t physically assault students during his class, unlike Snape.
He has one fatal flaw as a professor, of course; the man has a self-absorbed tendency for favoritism and likes to put up his own elite social club reserved for ‘exceptional’ students. That’s not exactly a good way to teach.
Here’s yet again another subject that could have been more of a lovable experience, except it was soured by the professor. Severus Snape might have been a fan-favorite since he’s practically a rockstar emo goth daddy, but that doesn’t mean he’s a good teacher.
He’s one of the few professors in Hogwarts who has no qualms about openly harming students physically most of the time. In fact, it’s astounding how Ron and Harry haven’t received brain damage from the number of times Snape smacked them on the head.
He’ll also deduct 10 points from Gryffindor at any given chance, no matter how minute the offense, and then funnel all those points to Slytherin.
Barty Crouch Jr. as Alastor Moody
He’s not even qualified to teach. What kind of Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher teaches the Dark Arts itself? That’s like a law enforcer teaching you how to commit crimes—somewhat relatable and realistic though.
But at least he got to humiliate Draco Malfoy and his greasy hair.
Speaking of unqualified, this raging narcissist is even worse than Barty Crouch Jr. since Gilderoy Lockhart didn’t need Polyjuice Potion to fool everyone.
Lockhart is a charlatan by nature and loves to take credit and acclaim for other people’s achievements. At least Barty Crouch was useful and could handle himself when it came to magic. Lockart’s just a fool, and there’s nothing to learn from him.
This one might even be worse than Gilderoy Lockhart. Professor Quirrell was also a Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, except when the time came to actually defend against the Dark Arts, he either just ran away or submitted to defeat. At least Lockhart pretended to be capable.
Professor Quirrell merely cowered at the sight of a troll who was easily defeated by a bunch of first-years who only knew one spell. Or that’s how he wanted it to appear. Quirrell’s submission to a Dark Lord even made his teaching profession all the more ironic.
There are too many crimes and transgressions to list as to why Professor Umbridge is the worst.
Sure, there are other more harmful and more evil professors, but none of them abused power as much as Umbridge did– even using her authority to bully students as if her tenure wasn’t enough to overpower them.
Moreover, Umbridge is more hated than even Voldemort, simply because she reminds everyone of that one abrasive terror teacher they had at a certain point in their academic life. She essentially gave the viewers PTSD flashbacks of the person who ruined school for them, and she didn’t have to use magic for that kind of curse.