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Hogwarts Professors Ranked By How Much You Want To Take Their Class

For people who were fans of the "Harry Potter" series growing up, there was always the dream that one day your very own Hogwarts letter would arrive in the mail, welcoming you to that magical school you desperately hoped was a real place.

One of the reasons fans of the series so badly wished they could attend Hogwarts themselves is that the school just looks so darn fun. Despite the fact that it seems to put its students in mortal danger nearly every week, Hogwarts is full of delicious food, thrilling pastimes, and, most importantly, spellbinding classes. While not every class at Hogwarts is beloved by students, they're very rarely dull.

Hogwarts encourages its students to find their passion, while also endeavoring to give them a well-rounded magical education. Some students might find that their interest lies in Herbology, others in Divination, while the athletically gifted might excel at quidditch. Regardless of where one's interests might lie, some classes are undeniably more popular than others. Certain professors have a real passion for education, while others — ahem — are just Voldemort's lackeys. Read on to discover how we've ranked every Hogwarts professor by how much you want to take their class.

17. Dolores Umbridge

The choice for which professor at Hogwarts you'd least like to take a class with is a pretty easy one. Sadistic bureaucrat Dolores Umbridge is a bully, a bad teacher, and literally abusive to her students. Rather than focusing her efforts on educating the youth in her charge, Umbridge uses her position as a professor to exert power over her students in a deeply controlling and malicious way. She is incredibly unfit to be a teacher, even confessing to Harry once that she despises children. 

Umbridge only teaches the Ministry-approved curriculum, which includes absolutely no practical lessons in the dark arts, leaving students vulnerable to the attacks of Voldemort and his allies. All she does in her class is read from a book and glare at her students, making her probably the most hated teacher at Hogwarts (for good reason). Defense Against the Dark Arts is a famously difficult class to teach — many believe the position is cursed — and Umbridge's brief tenure as professor only increases the notoriety of the course.

16. Quirinus Quirrell

If there's a professor at Hogwarts who you'd second-least want to take a class from, it's got to be the guy who literally has Voldemort's face on the back of his head. Originally hired as a Muggle Studies professor at Hogwarts, he takes over as professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts during Harry's first year. Power-hungry and desiring recognition, Quirrell goes in search of Voldemort before the start of the school year. Only when he finds him, Voldemort possesses his body in order to infiltrate Hogwarts. 

We don't know what Quirrell was like as a professor before hooking up with Voldemort, but his teaching abilities really go down the drain after he returns from his "sabbatical." During his time as Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, he often appears nervous and trips over his words, proving himself to be a thoroughly incompetent teacher. At least Snape, though often unnecessarily cruel, has a handle on the material and is capable of controlling his class. Quirrell demonstrates neither of these skills, which also means his students lose faith in him as a teacher. Part of his behavior is undoubtedly due to the pressure Voldemort puts on him, but this is no excuse. Even if you didn't know this guy had Voldemort hiding under his turban the whole time, you still wouldn't want to take a class with Quirrell, because he's just straight-up incompetent.

15. Gilderoy Lockhart

While his flaws are certainly not as sinister as the two professors above him on this list, Gilderoy Lockhart is still not someone you want to have in charge of your education. A vainglorious liar and total showboat, Lockhart is much more interested in himself than he is any of his students. As Quirrell's successor in Defense Against the Dark Arts, he teaches his students absolutely nothing, instead quizzing them endlessly about himself. (Hermione, of course, gets a perfect score).

Lockhart is thoroughly committed to spreading his fame and maintaining his image, often at the expense of his students' education. In the end, it is revealed that all his stories about the heroic acts he had performed in the past are made up: He would merely interview brave witches and wizards about their noble deeds, then cast memory charms to make them forget their own accomplishments. At the very least, this demonstrates a certain amount of talent in magic, which is more than you can say for the inept Umbridge.

14. Alastor 'Mad-Eye' Moody

It's not really fair to judge Mad-Eye Moody on the basis of his teaching skills, but we've got to include him for the sake of accuracy. First of all, after agreeing to take over as Defense Against the Dark Arts professor in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," Moody is kidnapped by Barty Crouch Jr., which means that whenever we see him in his professorial capacity, it's actually Crouch disguised as Moody. To give credit where credit is due, Crouch does actually teach the students some valuable skills, which is more than can be said for some of the other Defense Against the Dark Arts professors.

It's difficult to say how the real Moody would have fared as a professor, but he probably wouldn't have been a terrible teacher. At the very least, Moody wasn't a Death Eater, and in his career as an Auror — basically a magical law enforcement official — he is doggedly committed to capturing the bad guys. Plus, he fights valiantly in the wizarding wars (during which he loses his eye), meaning he could teach the students a thing or two about defending themselves. All of this is to say that maybe Moody would be higher up on the list if we actually got to see him teach, but unfortunately, we'll never know.

13. Sybill Trelawney

Sybill Trelawney is definitely not the most beloved professor at Hogwarts, even considered a fraud by other witches and wizards. A professor of Divination, Trelawney is a seer who frequently makes prophecies, some of which end up being more accurate than others. (In fact, it was she who made the original prophecy about Harry being the chosen one and the only person with the ability to defeat Voldemort.)

One major downside of Trelawney's class is that she delights in predicting her students' deaths, something that's certainly not very comforting to have happen on the very first day of class. She's also not the most consistent of professors, and her behavior and the quality of teaching can vary greatly depending on her mood. You never really know what you're going to get when you walk into Trelawney's class. Moreover, she responds poorly to Umbridge's close attention to her coursework, making her even more emotionally fragile and unreliable than ever.

12. Charity Burbage

Poor Charity Burbage: We hardly get to know her before her untimely death. Burbage is a professor of Muggle Studies at Hogwarts and has a passion for promoting equality between muggles and wizards, arguing that both groups should be treated with equal amounts of respect. Burbage thinks the decline of full-blooded wizards would ultimately lead to more tolerant attitudes all around, and she teaches these beliefs to her students. 

Unfortunately, her deeply-held views eventually lead to her death at the hands of Voldemort, who murders her himself after she writes an article expressing her views in the wizarding newspaper. It's certainly admirable that Burbage holds on to her beliefs so strongly, but we would be a little afraid to take a class from someone who is at the top of Voldemort's hit list. Plus, we don't really get to see Burbage teach, so it's hard to say if her classes would be as exciting as her political views.

11. Severus Snape

To be honest, the main reason we wouldn't want to take a class with Severus Snape is that he just seems so darn scary. He's serious, strict, and clearly has a cruel streak, as evidenced by his treatment of Harry Potter. (The reasons for this are very complicated, but still! There's no excuse to be so nasty to a literal child.)

Prior to his tenure as Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, Snape serves as the Potions Master. This definitely gives Snape a few points in the plus column, because Potions is a class that requires a great deal of magical skill.

Still, Snape has a fairly authoritarian way of teaching which is not much appreciated by his students. He has a particular disdain for Gryffindors and treats them especially cruelly. His main strategy for teaching seems to be scaring his students into doing as they're told, which doesn't produce an environment that is very conducive to learning. (Nor would it be a class you're excited to attend every day.) Though he is certainly capable of exacting control and discipline over his students, he lacks the compassion and social skills to really excel as a teacher.

10. Horace Slughorn

After Snape leaves Potions to become the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, Horace Slughorn is convinced by Dumbledore to come out of retirement and take over the course. Though Slughorn is generally good-natured, he also has a penchant for "collecting" the students he finds most promising, hoping to ride on the coattails of their success. In fact, the prospect of being able to "collect" Harry Potter is the main reason he comes out of retirement in the first place. 

Slughorn has an exclusive club called the "Slug Club" for his best students, and tends to ignore everyone else. Nevertheless, Slughorn is a fairly engaging teacher — especially compared to his more dry and humorless predecessor, Snape — and does at least know what he's doing. Though he certainly has his faults, he's on the whole basically harmless, and can even be a great teacher and mentor when he chooses to be.

9. Aurora Sinistra

Though we don't know much about her, Professor Aurora Sinistra seems like an interesting teacher. Sinistra is a professor of Astronomy, one of the least-discussed subjects in "Harry Potter." She is known in the books for being quite strict and giving a lot of homework, but hey, astronomy is a difficult subject! In fact, it's probably the most intellectually taxing of all the disciplines at Hogwarts, as it does involve quite a bit of math. So if Professor Sinistra gives a lot of homework, it's probably for the students' benefit.

The reason Sinistra is not higher up on the list is for this same reason — while Astronomy is definitely a fascinating subject, her class also seems like it might be pretty difficult. On the other hand, Sinistra has taught for at least a decade at Hogwarts and is able to pass Umbridge's inspection without incident, so she's probably a pretty proficient teacher. Moreover, Sinistra not being involved in any controversies or scandals at Hogwarts makes her class a safe bet for students trying to keep their heads down and get through the school year alive.

8. Remus Lupin

Remus Lupin is one of the few Defense Against the Dark Arts professors who isn't evil or actively trying to harm his students, so if you want to learn to fight against the Dark Arts, he's probably your best shot. In addition to being, you know, not evil, Lupin proves himself to be a very capable professor. His biggest flaw, of course, is the fact that he's a werewolf. Or, rather, it's not that being a werewolf is the biggest problem, but the prejudice he faces for having such a condition in the wizarding world.

Perhaps because of this, Lupin has a lot of compassion and patience for his students. He's very perceptive and intuitive, which makes him a good mentor to students like Harry Potter and Neville Longbottom, who might need more support. He has a great sense of each individual student's needs and implicitly knows how to help them improve as wizards and witches. We only get to see him teach for one year, but he definitely has a positive impact on Harry's life during this time — we only wish he could stay at Hogwarts longer.

7. Albus Dumbledore

You might expect the legendary Albus Dumbledore to be higher up on this list but, to be honest, his primary function in the story is not really that of a teacher, at least not to anyone but Harry Potter himself. This is also the crux of why he's not at the top: He plays favorites. While a number of Hogwarts professors could certainly be accused of favoritism, no one fits the bill more than the great Dumbledore. We can't really fault the guy for this — Harry is "the chosen one," after all — but it doesn't necessarily make us want to jump at the chance to be his student (especially since we're not Harry Potter). 

Nonetheless, Dumbledore would definitely still teach you a lot. He's one of the most powerful and acclaimed wizards of all time, and being in his presence every day would certainly be a treat. Plus, he's wacky and eccentric, which one imagines would at the very least make his classes entertaining. Sadly, we don't actually get to see him teach much in the books or films — he's only serving as headmaster by the time Harry arrives — so we don't have a definitive understanding of what his classes would actually be like.

6. Filius Flitwick

Filius Flitwick is the head of Ravenclaw at Hogwarts, as well as the Charms Master. Charms, more than most subjects at Hogwarts, is incredibly practical and can come in handy in many different circumstances. As such, Flitwick teaches students the building blocks of magic that are essential for any witch or wizard to know. Plus, Flitwick's class gives us one of the most important magical moments in the films: Hermione performing Wingardium Leviosa properly for the first time. What "Harry Potter" fan didn't walk around the house practicing that spell as a kid? 

Most importantly, Flitwick seems like a fun teacher to take a class with. He has a mischievous side that would make his classes very entertaining. At the same time, he also comes across as very forgiving and understanding towards his students, rarely punishing or disciplining them. His kindness and cheer are certainly a welcome change from professors like Snape, who seem to think it necessary to scare their students into learning. Moreover, Flitwick is an even more capable wizard than you might have imagined, having actually been named a dueling champion in his youth. And to seal the deal, he's in charge of one of the coolest groups at Hogwarts: The Frog Choir. How can you argue with that?

5. Firenze

To be honest, we're not sure why you wouldn't want to take a class from Firenze if you were a student at Hogwarts. First of all, he's a centaur. Second of all, he's a centaur. 

The coolest thing about Firenze's course is his classroom. Upon his arrival at Hogwarts (after Trelawney is fired by Umbridge), Dumbledore transforms the classroom into a forest, where students can lie down and look at the stars twinkling on the enchanted ceiling. Firenze is a kind and morally upright guy, as he both saves Harry from Quirrell and stands by his support of the humans despite being banished by his colony. Firenze is courageous and trustworthy — though less traditional and inflexible than his fellow centaurs — and would certainly make a good mentor to any Hogwarts student in need of a guiding hand. Firenze also stands in stark contrast to the quite unstable Trelawney, and his calm, level-headed demeanor is even more appealing in an enigmatic subject like Divination.

4. Madam Hooch

We'll be honest, the main reason Madam Hooch is so high up on the list is that we all want the same thing — to be able to fly. Unfortunately, Madam Hooch doesn't get very much screen time in the movies, but it's undeniable that the discipline she teaches is an invaluable one. In fact, Harry wouldn't realize his extraordinary flying ability if it weren't for Hooch (even if he only discovers his skills because she leaves the class unattended in order to take Neville Longbottom to the infirmary).

Despite her limited screen time, it's clear that Madam Hooch is very dedicated to her duties as a teacher and is committed to keeping her students safe from harm (even if quidditch is a rather dangerous game for teenagers to play). An important part of keeping the students safe is teaching them the rules and modeling good sportsmanship, something Hooch does as a teacher as well as a quidditch referee. But basically, we just really want to learn how to fly.

3. Rubeus Hagrid

He may not be the most eloquent or powerful teacher at Hogwarts, but he's certainly one of the most beloved. As a teenager, Hagrid is expelled from Hogwarts after Tom Riddle falsely accuses him of opening the Chamber of Secrets. Despite this, Dumbledore allows him to become the Keeper of Keys and Grounds and, eventually, a Care of Magical Creatures professor. 

The best thing about getting to take Hagrid's class is the content of the class itself. The magical creatures in the world of "Harry Potter" are some of its most interesting elements, and it's hard to imagine that anyone wouldn't jump at the chance to get to be around them. Hagrid himself is also a very compassionate teacher, even if he tends to be better with magical creatures than he is with other people.

Despite his sometimes blundering appearance, Harry, Ron, and Hermione learn that he is a wonderfully loyal friend with a kind heart. On occasion, however, Hagrid doesn't properly address the dangers of some of his magical creatures, so you might acquire an injury during one of his classes. He also has a tendency to be insecure, especially if he thinks his students aren't enjoying his lessons. No one knows magical creatures better than him, though, and his intuition about them is something few possess. And ultimately, if we get to ride a hippogriff, it's all worth it.

2. Pomona Sprout

Just because Harry Potter doesn't seem to like Herbology doesn't mean we have to agree with him. Herbology at Hogwarts is taught by Pomona Sprout, who is very passionate about the plants that occupy Hogwarts' many greenhouses. As evidenced by her role as the head of Hufflepuff, Sprout is a very nurturing, compassionate individual who cares about her students deeply. It's hard not to love her cheerful attitude, and it's even harder not to love the fact that she makes tiny scarves and socks for her Mandrake plants so they can comfortably survive the winter.

Though she might come off as a little bit too soft, Sprout also knows how to stand her ground, and is not afraid to lightly scold her students when they need it. She is extremely dedicated to her job and is staunchly opposed to the school being closed following Dumbledore's death, maintaining that "if a single pupil wants to come, then the school ought to remain open for that pupil." 

She even contributes to the Battle of Hogwarts, attacking the Death Eaters with poisonous plants when they besiege the school. It's clear that she's a wonderful teacher too, as she lovingly mentors the often overlooked Neville Longbottom and teaches him everything she knows, leading him to eventually become an Herbology professor at Hogwarts years later.

1. Minerva McGonagall

In the end, there's no contest. The best professor at Hogwarts, and the one we would most want to take a class from, is Minerva McGonagall. McGonagall is one of the most powerful and well-respected witches of all time, and she's also an extremely capable and effective teacher. Though she comes off as rather austere and stern sometimes, her seriousness is undergirded by a strong sense of compassion and care for her students. 

McGonagall has a strong sense of duty and responsibility to both the school and her students, abhorring those who abuse their power, such as Dolores Umbridge. A model of fairness, McGonagall is not one to give compliments easily, but she also treats all her students equally and gives everyone a chance to do their very best. What more could you ask for in a professor? 

Moreover, the class McGonagall teaches is Transfiguration, which is one of the most interesting subjects of all. Incredibly difficult and complicated (it does, after all, involve the transformation of one object into another), McGonagall is definitely the person you want teaching you this skill. If you're not convinced she's the best person for the job, here's one more fun fact: McGonagall herself is an Animagus, which means she can transform into a cat at will. No one is doing it like her.