Elyse is a middle school teacher. She enjoys traveling, reading, writing and obsessing over her dog, Copper, who is totally amazing.
What Would It Be Like to Teach at Hogwarts?
Having grown up with the series, I don’t think that I will ever stop rereading Harry Potter. There is nothing quite like cracking open a book and visiting Hagrid, watching a Quidditch match, or attending classes. Yes, it has been wonderful to be able to take a series from my childhood forward into adult years and find them no less fantastic. That isn’t to say, however, that my understanding of the content hasn’t grown up with me.
As a middle school teacher, I instruct large classes of non-magical students whose ages range from eleven to thirteen—roughly first through third year. As a teacher of this age group, rereading the Harry Potter series comes with a new understanding, and I can’t help but consider what it would be like to be in the shoes of one of the professors. The following is a compilation of the various pros and cons of teaching young wizards at Hogwarts.
Pros of Teaching at Hogwarts
- Sneakoscopes and other dark detectors
- Summoning and replication charms
- Talking portraits
Cons of Teaching at Hogwarts
- Students with magical abilities
- House rivalries
- Time turners
- Permanent sticking charms
While I’m certain there would be firm policies on the use of this particular skill, I can’t think of any teacher that would pass up the opportunity to read their students’ minds. As crazy cunning as Muggle students can be, I can only imagine how much use it would be for a wizarding teacher to be able to tell when a pupil is lying.
Pro: Sneakoscopes and Other Dark Detectors
Again, the lying. I would have a mischief and dark magic detector on me at all times. Maybe this is why, besides Harry's constant shenanigans, Hogwarts students were all fairly well behaved.
Pro: Summoning and Replication Charms
When you are responsible for a room of 30+ young individuals, leaving to grab something or make copies is not an option. How many teachers have found themselves to be short on copies or materials in the middle of a lesson? This would be a nonissue in a Hogwarts classroom. Oh, you forgot your pencil? Too bad.
For one thing, I would never forget anything at any time if I could go back and reexamine memories from time to time. I could also see referring to a Pensieve in the event of having to dispense justice, so as not to have to rely on heavily biased and easily-excited witnesses to tell me who-did-what.
Pro: Talking Portraits
As a social studies teacher, the prospect of talking pictures opens up a world of possibilities. Just imagine being able to personally interview important historical figures. Talk about bringing the subject matter to life!
Con: Students With Magical Abilities
I, personally, hesitate to give my sixth graders scissors because a select few will wreak havoc on a classroom in continuously new, creative and unexpected ways. Put wands in their hands? Magical objects that can create fires, cause physical harm to themselves and their peers or, at the very least, be used to make lewd suggestions/references? And then you’re going to teach them how to duel? No.
On a similar note, I would hesitate greatly to teach any young person how to create something poisonous. Y’all are going to give teenagers the instruction and means to whip up something called “The Drought of Living Death?” Call me Mad-Eye Moody, because I’m drinking out of a hip flask forever.
Con: House Rivalries
Within a single classroom, you’ll find that kids create conflict over differences in race, political opinion, socioeconomic status, and sports affiliation. But no, let’s just single one group of kids out as being smart, another for being brave, etc., so that they can bicker among themselves about it for the rest of their lives.
Con: Time Turners
Don’t get me started on this. Hermione Granger was obviously one in a million as far as responsibility is concerned, but this could never happen regardless of the student. Putting aside the obvious concern of a teenager messing up the fragile fabric of time, how many kids would use this to retake an exam, or set up complex traps for their enemies? No, Hermione, you can take Arithmancy over the summer or something. Or drop Muggle Studies; you don’t need it.
Con: Permanent Sticking Charms
I can only imagine the sort of materials young preteens and teenagers would deem worthy of being stuck to a classroom wall . . . forever. The fact that Neville Longbottom didn’t wander the castle with a perpetual “Kick Me” sign on his back is pretty miraculous.
Advantages and drawbacks aside, should there ever be a space at Hogwarts, I'm in. Well, maybe not the Defense Against the Dark Arts position.
© 2017 Elyse Maupin-Thomas
Suzanne Maupin on May 18, 2020:
Engaging! I like your writing.