The worst teachers at Hogwarts — and the best: A professor’s study of the fictional school’s faculty

Woman in pink and purple clothes.

Dolores Umbridge’s mistreatment of students causes a rebellion at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. But is she the school’s worst teacher?

Melissa C. Johnson, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the Department of Focused Inquiry in Virginia Commonwealth University’s University College, was initially skeptical of the Harry Potter phenomenon, even as her nieces and nephews eagerly ate up the first book in the series.

Still, Johnson, a fan of fantasy novels, decided to give J.K. Rowling’s creation a try, though she was sure it wouldn’t measure up to “Lord of the Rings.” She bought the first book in the series in England and then bought each subsequent book as it was released.

“I even went and bought book seven at midnight so as to get it as soon as possible and then stayed up all night reading it,” Johnson said. “I’ve reread the entire series at least three times and am due for another rereading.”

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