Harry Potter Defense Against the Dark Arts Teachers Ranked-Alexes Martin:

Written by Alexes Martin


7.Amycus Carrow — “Defense” wasn’t taught at all with this teacher. Carrow, under the reign of Severus Snape, seemed to take sadistic pleasure on teaching students how to use the “Unforgivable Curses,” rather than how to properly defend against them. He would allow students to cast a “Cruciatus”, or Torture spell on students who earned detentions, which teaches kids that its ok to torture and kill one another if they deemed less worthy than yourself. Additionally, the use of the “Unforgivable Curses” is punishable by a lifetime in Azkaban, which is essentially a wizarding prison filled with dementors that suck out every happy memory you have. Carrow is so passionate about the Dark Arts that he’s willing to not only put other student’s lives in danger, but also to tarnish the student’s futures, essentially nurturing wizarding serial killers.

I highly wouldn’t recommend going against his practices either. The Cruciatus Charm is only one of the ways Carrow is more than willing to torture students. Students going against his practices can also find themselves running the risk of having their wrists chained or getting slashed by knives.

6.Dolores Umbridge –– While I could write a whole article about why Umbridge is one of the most unlikeable characters in the entire series, let’s focus on her approach on teaching the subject. The purpose of D.A.D.A is to learn how to defend oneself against attacks and dark spells, correct? Umbridge seemed to me more interested in teaching based off of what would be in the end-of-year exams (OWLS) rather than teach the students skills that would benefit them later in life, not to mention the OWLS have a practical portion. Instead of teaching students how to cast and deflect spells, she has them copy off textbooks silently in her class, where the knowledge may not fully absorb in the minds of students.

 She also serves detentions when the students disagree with her methods in the slightest (like when Harry mentioned that children are not safe as long as Lord Voldemort is around) even if it is in the best interest of the students. Therefore, not only she is keeping students from learning how to defend themselves, but she’s also indirectly failing students in terms of passing the practical exam. A professor that not only tells the students how to think but teaches them to think wrongly about the world around them is a very ineffective professor in my opinion.

I also wouldn’t recommend getting detention with her either because she has a “special quill” that she uses to cut lines into your skin, in hopes of the message “sinking in.”

5.Gilderoy Lockhart –– Lockhart kind of reminds me of one of those professors that make students buy and read their own textbooks, except he doesn’t actually know what he’s talking about. He proves himself to be ineffective when he released Cornish Pixies into the classroom and had the students clean up his mess for him. Every class after that has him bragging about the accomplishments written in his books, even though they were stolen from the people that actually achieved them via memory charms. Lockhart is the very definition of “fake it til you make it.”

Though not a very good instructor on his own, Lockhart seems to be effective in terms of showing the students what not to do, which was Dumbledore’s whole reasoning behind hiring Lockhart. Students watch his foolish attempts at D.A.D.A and think, “wow, this fool doesn’t know what he’s doing…better figure out a way to learn it myself.” While almost completely ineffective, Lockhart ranks higher than Umbridge because you get a clear example of what happens if you fail to comprehend your D.A.D.A. If anything, watching Lockhart act like a clown makes me want to pay more attention in school.

4.Quirinius Quirrell — Not much could be said about Quirrell’s teaching methods. Book 1 illustrates more on finding the hidden philosopher’s stone, rather than how Defense against the Dark Arts is being taught. That being said, Book 1 does allow some insight for Quirrell’s classes, which have been pictured as dull and “a bit of a joke.” Quirrell, though he teaches the subject without putting students in imminent danger, makes the subject less exciting and thus harder for the students to follow and understand. If we are strictly judging by how the classes are taught rather than the character himself, Quirrell is easily one of the most forgettable teachers, though I would rather be bored out of my mind than risk myself with a sadistic teacher.

3.Remus Lupin– In contrast to Quirrell, Lupin’s classes do involve a lot of in-class participation. He’s seen in Book 3 teaching students how to combat against boggarts (creatures that take the shape of people’s deepest fears) using a Riddikulus spell, which turns a boggart into something amusing. However, given Lupin’s werewolf conditions, the class structure is a bit unstable. Although not entirely Lupin’s fault, his monthly absence does make it hard for students to expect a certain level of stability.

I don’t think Lupin was a terrible teacher altogether, and he seems to have a very good grasp on certain creatures that stem from dark magic .However,  if my teacher was disappearing all month, I would be wondering where my teacher was too. His constant absence would make it a bit harder to fully connect and understand the way he approaches the class, not to mention a bit harder to ask for help.

2.Severus Snape — Snape seems to have a vast knowledge on the subject but isn’t the most approachable teacher to come to. He’s very negative towards his students and is seen criticizing them harshly when they don’t meet his expectations. He does expect his students to know and understand a great deal about the Dark Arts and allows “no foolish wandwaving” in his class. However, he does have a very intense passion on the subject, which allows him to fully understand what he’s teaching his students (unlike Lockhart). He’s very prepared and is willing to teach students about why taking Dark Arts lightly is dangerous, preparing students for the most dangerous spells in the wizarding world

1.Fake Alastor “Mad Eye” Moody –– I won’t say Barty Crouch Jr. was a good person by any means, but he was one heck of a teacher. He’s seen in Book 4 teaching about the “Unforgivable Curses” — what they are and how to defend yourself against them. While he does seem to have an overly-paranoid attitude towards the subject and can come across as intimidating, he’s very well-rehearsed in the subject and teaches students what to look for when identifying the curses (seen with the spider example).  What makes him a good teacher is his ability to prepare students for the nastiest, worst spells imaginable. He doesn’t sugarcoat any information; he tells the students exactly what the spells do and what to do if they are faced with an Unforgivable curse.