As beloved as the Harry Potter franchise and its many Hogwarts teachers are in our hearts, J.K. Rowling is an astute writer who knows better than to write flawless characters who never grow or change. None of her characters are perfect, even the headmaster, Albus Dumbledore himself. In fact, he may be the most flawed professor at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. That's a good thing, since perfect characters would be boring, but some of Rowling's writing makes us wonder exactly what she thinks makes for a good teacher.
In a school of witches and wizards, we're not about to expect everything to go without a hitch as a bunch of teenagers wrestle with both the laws of magic and the equally perilous journey of adolescence, but we would expect magic to make much of the process easier on the students (not to mention prevent much of the antagonizing and social clique systems that exist in high schools that make them such difficult places to learn and grow in the first place). The opposite seems to be true, with teachers at the prestigious and supposedly safe school ignoring these problems, exacerbating them until they are more difficult, or even causing some of the issues themselves in the first place — often with dire consequences for everyone.
Sure, everything is a learning experience, but teacher giving dangerous punishments, and having a complete disregard for safety don't have to be. Here is Harry Potter: 20 Things That Make No Sense About Hogwarts Teachers.
20 Dumbledore's Okay With Snape Being Mean To Everyone
Snape's intensity is explained easily enough: he was a picked on as a kid who grew up to become a teacher who used his power to control his own students. Many of us have faced the wrath of similar teachers in our lives, and Harry was a particularly vulnerable subject because, despite his mother's eyes that made Snape protective of him, he wore his father's face, which incensed Snape to no end.
Even when disregarding the complete ridiculousness of Snape's contradictory behavior, the fact remains that Albus Dumbledore knew perfectly well that his Death Eater spy was aggravating Harry, Neville, and other students. He turned a blind eye to the behavior, likely because Snape's double agent status was more important to the old man than the formative minds of his students.
19 They Allow 11-Year-Olds To Risk Their Lives For Sport
Just as routinely as students are advised against not taking part in various activities that might cost them their safety or their lives at Hogwarts are they equally encouraged to engage in activities that do those very same things. Case in point? Riding brooms. "Apparating" is considered too dangerous for wizards that are underage, but 11-year-old children are allowed to fly brooms into the air and even play the dangerous sport Quidditch while doing so.
It's the kind of "duh" reasoning that one might expect a muggle to understand, let alone a wizard, but they believe it's perfectly safe, even after so many youths are harmed during the sport. Flying on a broom should be reserved for older students.
18 They Stink At Security
The refrain that Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is the safest place on Earth against Voldemort rings in our ears during the same moments we witness various people enter and exit the school whenever they please, proving that security is lax at, the very least. Not only is Rita Skeeter, an unregistered Animagus, able to snoop around the school to spy on the champions during the Triwizard Tournament, but Sirius Black, considered the most dangerous criminal during Prisoner of Azkaban, was even able to enter the Gryffindor quarters. This was right where Harry, supposedly completely protected in his four-poster bed, slept soundly next to Black's intended target, Peter Pettigrew.
For witches and wizards who are supposed to be such skillful teachers, this seems pretty sloppy. They also can't protect the Sorcerer's Stone from a few meddling kids.
17 They Use An Eagle As The Symbol For Ravenclaw
One of the things that makes the least sense about the Hogwarts teachers, including the school's founders, is that they named one of the four Houses Ravenclaw, yet gave the house an animal symbol other than a raven. At least it was still a bird, but why on earth name a House Ravenclaw if you're not going to incorporate ravens into it somehow?
Ravens are also incredibly clever birds, which makes much more sense for the Hogwarts House known for its cleverness and intellect. According to the Sorting Hat, those who are in Rowena's domain, "wise old Ravenclaw" have "a ready mind, where those of wit and learning will always find their kind." They're also a pretty witchy bird that looks much better in a school of wizards than an eagle does.
16 They Allow Ghosts To Haunt Their Castle
Whose idea was it to allow ghosts to haunt the Hogwarts castle? Not only are the ghosts seemingly given complete run of the castle without restrictions, but they also disrupt the students on occasion and could easily be dispatched by a decent Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher like Remus Lupin.
While the ghosts in each of the Hogwarts Houses may not be all that bothersome, Moaning Myrtle is far from happy and not only deserves to be freed, however that might happen, but also keeps girls out of one of the bathrooms. The poltergeist Peeves certainly is disruptive enough to cause trouble for students and teachers alike, and while we all lament that his hilarious antics weren't in the movies, the fact remains that he should probably be exorcized from Hogwarts for the good of the students.
15 They Don't Seem To Need Any Special Qualifications
Not many Hogwarts teachers seemed especially qualified for their jobs. While some of them, such as Snape, McGonagall, and Lupin, were at least adept at their subjects, many obviously had no idea what they were doing. The fact that Professor Quirrell was ever hired at all is troubling; what even were his qualifications?
Quirrell himself is a problem in the series, a teacher who was possessed by Voldemort whom we never learned much about. Even after Harry defeated him in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, we still don't really know what happened between Quirrell and Voldemort. Rowling has explained that he served as a temporary Horcrux at Pottermore but he's such a problematic hire that some even speculate that Dumbledore hired him because he knew he was possessed and wanted Harry to take him on.
14 Hagrid Was Never Exonerated
As a student at Hogwarts, Hagrid was blamed for opening the Chamber of Secrets and kicked out of school, forbidden to deal in magic ever again. While Rowling has since stated that he's allowed to do magic since the events of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets proved that he had been innocent all along, we never got to see his name officially cleared.
Had the Ministry truly believed of his evil, however, why would he even be allowed as gamekeeper? Surely he'd have to be imprisoned, if not in Azkaban at least at St. Mungo's due to his adolescence, for endangering so many people and taking out Moaning Myrtle. None of it makes sense, including why his broken wand pieces work better in an umbrella than Ron's entire wand put back together.
13 The Forbidden Forest Is Only Available To Students As A Punishment
While students are forbidden to enter the Forbidden Forest, hence its name, they aren't truly banned from the untamed patch of woods adjacent to Hogwarts. Instead, they are sent there as punishment for their misdeeds. It is one of the most illogical things that occurs in the entire series.
"Young wizard, you are out of common room late at night, which is dangerous, so we'll send you into a forest filled with giant, man-eating spiders, angry wizard-disliking centaurs, and other odious creatures to teach you a lesson!" Harry and Draco are almost harmed during detention in the Forbidden Forest. Why even build a school of magic for children next to it in the first place?
12 They Use A Janitor Instead Of Magic
We witness witches like Molly Weasley utilize magic to do everything from knit to scrub pots and pans, which makes most of us only wish we could be witches and wizards even harder. Living in the magical world should have the perks of magical cleaning, and at the very least the students at Hogwarts could practice household spells on the castle to keep it clean. Why does the school use a janitor to keep it clean instead?
Many speculate that Argus Filch, who has been at Hogwarts since 1973, is just another example of Dumbledore's soft heart taking pity on a Squib without prospects, but surely Dumbledore could've found him something more meaningful. It had to be extremely frustrating resorting to menial labor while surrounded by kids with magical abilities he didn't have, which explains much of his bitterness.
11 They Kept The Slytherin House Going All These Years
"There's not a witch or wizard who went bad who wasn't in Slytherin," Ron Weasley confides to Harry Potter. So why does Slytherin continue to exist in the first place if it continues to churn out such bad wizards?
And as much as we love to be sorted into our Hogwarts Houses and take pride in showing off our Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Gryffindor and Slytherin colors, most of us admit that there's something terribly wrong with pitting each group of students against each other in meaningless competition, keeping them separated by what traits an old magical hat decided that they possessed. While some inter-house friendships are made, they do seem rare, and it's worse than typical school cliques since it's perpetuated by the teachers themselves.
10 They Entrust A Teen Girl With A Time-Turner
While we can all admire Hermione's tenacity and ambition, and many of us might do the same in her place, was entrusting a student who wasn't even old enough to Apparate yet with a Time-Turner a wise decision for Professor Dumbledore to make? It doesn't only involve a heaping amount of trust, but also depends on a young woman to not alter her, or anyone else's, timeline with her actions... just so she can take a double-course load of information.
It's risky enough to mess with a Time-Turner for something important, like saving Sirius Black's life (or using it to defeat Voldemort, which we're still all skeptical about), but to let Hermione Granger use one every single day during the school year seems rather reckless.
9 Hagrid's Allowed To Use Monsters In His Classes
While none of us feel sympathy for Draco Malfoy when Buckbeak the hippogriff scratches him, we also can't hold Hagrid completely blameless. He routinely exposes the Hogwarts kids to various monsters that could really inflict some damage if they aren't careful, and who thinks that a class full of teens might ever be careful?
Even if most of them are attentive and cautious, there will always be those who aren't, and the fact that Dumbledore allowed Hagrid, who is already known to be quite careless when it comes to magical creatures, to teach only points toward his favoritism and not his judicious hiring decisions. Even the book that Hagrid selects for his students, Edwardus Lima's The Monster Book of Monsters, is dangerous.
8 Dumbledore Hired Lockhart
While we already know that Albus Dumbledore has made some rotten hiring decisions in the past, most of them could be explained by simple ignorance. Known to believe in the good of people, he likely trusted Quirrell and other teachers, especially if they exhibited some magical skill they could teach their students. He even hired Sybill Trelawney after she made one prophecy that came true.
Hiring Gilderoy Lockhart, however, seems rather foolish of Dumbledore. Surely one meeting with the fraudulent wizard would have confirmed Dumbledore's suspicions, which he must have had about the arrogant wizard. And if Dumbledore truly believed that the fate of the wizarding world lay in the hands of a teen being taught at his own school, he should have ensured every DADA teacher was stellar enough to prepare the child for his fate.
7 They Allowed The Triwizard Tournament To Occur
The Triwizard Tournament is like Quidditch, but much worse, much more dangerous, and most assuredly fatal, as we witnessed when Cedric Diggory was lost. Even though Diggory's passing was due to Voldemort's return to power and not the tournament itself, the champions faced dragons, grindylows, and other dangers that could have taken them out just as easily.
When you're teaching students the perilous arts of magic, why push it by entering them into such a hazardous competition that not only endangers their lives but also pits them against one another's schools much like the House Cup does every year? We also find it difficult to believe that Harry was ever allowed to participate. Surely a loophole should have existed, especially since a rule was being broken in order to uphold another rule.
6 They Let Thestrals Pull The Kids' Carriages
Many of the fantastic beasts in the wizarding world are so incredible they give us a bad case of Avatar-like FOMO. We want to live there and see everything Harry gets to see. That said, thestrals, although quite cool, are also pretty scary-looking beasts. It makes absolutely no sense to allow them to pull the kids' carriages to Hogwarts.
If a thestral is pulling your carriage, you're either terrified because you see it due to the trauma you've experienced, or you're terrified because your carriage is moving by itself. Why not use any other beast other than these skeletal winged beings of horror to get the kids from point A to point B?
5 They Know Stairs Shift Constantly Yet Expect Students To Be On Time
When Ron and Harry are late to their first class with Professor McGonagall, we can't help but scoff at the lovely and talented Dame Maggie Smith when she tells the boys to use a map next time. She's incredible, but she has to know that the staircases in the castle are constantly changing, making a map a moot point.
All of the teachers should be well aware of the constantly-changing castle, so the fact that they continue to punish or chastise late students just makes them appear heartless. Why even have shifting staircases in the first place? The school can be magical and inspiring without being annoying. Surely someone as powerful as Albus Dumbledore could get staircases to stay still.
4 When Snape Outed Lupin As A Werewolf, Dumbledore Did Nothing
As Remus Lupin packed away his things to leave Hogwarts after the major events of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, most of us lamented his departure with heavy hearts. Lupin wasn't only the best DADA teacher Hogwarts has seen during Harry's time, but also a wonderful character we hated to see go. We also hated that Severus Snape, while fully knowing the discrimination that werewolves face, "let it slip" that Remus was a werewolf, causing him to leave the school.
It's nice that Dumbledore wasn't going to force Lupin to leave, but why wasn't Snape held accountable for his actions? "Outing a fellow teacher seems like a low blow that should have at least earned the Potions Master a suspension.
3 None Of Them Teach Actual Core Subjects
If you send your children away from you for the majority of the year, you should expect the boarding school that they attend to teach everything they need to know to be successful in life. Even if they're learning the complicated spellwork of transfiguration or charms, they still need to know how to write an essay, do algebra, and complete a science lab report.
So where are the Hogwarts students learning their core subjects? They certainly aren't learning about world history, English literature, or any other subjects in between Care of Magical Creatures and Arithmancy. Even Muggle Studies is considered an elective, not something that wizards should know when many of them will interact with muggles every day of their lives.
2 They Have A Keeper Of The Keys
Rubeus Hagrid is the Keeper of the Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts, but the castle doesn't seem to have any keys to be kept. Aside from the flying keys used to help guard the Sorcerer's Stone, what keys do we ever even witness in the series? Between "Alohomora" and the numerous concealment and protection charms used at Hogwarts, keeping keys seems unnecessary and sort of silly.
It makes sense that Hagrid might maintain the grounds and all of the flora and fauna around the castle. He's perfectly capable and willing to care for any magical beings around the school and most of the creatures of the forest respect him, but why keep the keys portion of his title at all when he doesn't even seem to use any?
1 Dumbledore Is Always Awarding Extra Points
Even after all of the drama throughout the year that results in students being punished or rewarded with House Points for their efforts, often unjustly, by their teachers in order to gain the House Cup, none of it matters. Albus Dumbledore sweeps in at the end and awards the House Cup to the House that he thinks deserves it best by awarding points for whatever perils Harry and his friends have survived recently.
Aside from the fact that these adventures always occur at the end of the school year, prompting many fans to snicker over the thought that Voldemort doesn't bother Harry until spring because he values his foe's education, this is favoritism in the worst way and Dumbledore shouldn't even be allowed to give out points.