I recently watched Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and came to a not quite that startling conclusion.
Whoever gave Gilderoy Lockhart the notion to go teaching should be put to an inquiry from the Ministry of Magic.
I mean seriously, nice one Dumbledore.
It got me thinking, how does he compare to the other Defence Against the Dark Arts teachers? This here is a definitive ranking of those who filled the position during Harry’s years of education, from worst to best. As Harry missed his seventh year, Snape’s successor, Amycus Carrow, will not feature in this list as he did not feature heavily in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Dolores Umbridge, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
No one can top Umbridge. And what made her worst of all is that, at some point in our education, we have all had an Umbridge standing at the top of the classroom. Maybe not dressed head to toe in pink, and perhaps they didn’t make your arms bleed during detention. But there was always that one teacher whose classes you dreaded attending.
Gilderoy Lockhart, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
It’s probably a good thing his Memory Charm backfired, because I wouldn’t want to think about the year he had too. Let’s be honest – a three year old would be better at the gig than he was. When one of your students can save your ass in a lesson, you should probably rethink your career.
Plus, he wasn’t a great guy out of the classroom either, what with the plagiarism and stuff.
Quirinus Quirrell, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Good point: Alerted students to a troll being in the dungeon. But, then again, he did actually put the troll there, so maybe that’s not entirely a success. Bad points: Had Voldemort on the back of his head. You win some, you lose some.
Severus Snape, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Everyone has their own stance on Snape. He was a good teacher, but he did have trouble separating his personal and professional life. A great teacher would be able to leave their problems at the door and not take things out on A) the child the woman he loved had with someone else, or B) another child who could have spared the life of said woman he loved just by being born on the same day as previously mentioned child.
Great at teaching, not so great at letting things slide.
Alastor Moody, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Forget the fact he was possessed by an imposter for the majority of his tenure. Moody did a great job at teaching the students the three Unforgivable Curses, which eventually came in useful during the Battle of Hogwarts. He was also the ring leader of the Battle of the Seven Potters.
Not just one of the greatest aurors of all time, but a thumping great teacher too.
By far the best DADA teacher seen pre Voldemort’s death. Without Lupin, we would never be caught spending half our lives wondering what our Patronus would be (mine is a cat, in case you were wondering) and we’d have no idea what our Boggart would look like (snake. It would be a snake. Or a dentist.)
Lupin was also a pivotal character in Harry’s late teen years, and proved handy to have around in the Battle of the Seven Potters and the Battle of Hogwarts. He is the finest teacher Hogwarts has seen in the role to date.