A Response to Dumbledore's Teacher Choices
An original editorial by Dan Herman
I read Erik Zeegers' editorial
on Dumbledore's teaching selections. I, for the most part, agree. He is, without a doubt, the most qualified person
in the wizarding world that we have met so far, as well as an extremely efficient
administrator. Nor do I disagree with Erik when he pegs Lockhart, Hagrid, and
Trelawney as horrible teachers. However, I think that Dumbledore's reasonings were
not thoroughly explored, and I would like to delve a little deeper.
As far as Hagrid goes, one must take care to look at the relationships in the
magical universe. Yes, Hagrid does have the knowledge while Grubby-Plank has the
teaching skills, but Hagrid also has something much deeper going for him: trust.
Hagrid has, on numerous occassions, shown himself to be trustworthy far and above
the normal call of duty, and loyal to Dumbledore to a fault. Dumbeldore needs Hagrid
around for the constant companionship and "secret" missions he is sent on (envoy to
the giants, retrieving the sorcerer's stone, and the like).
Gilderoy Lockhart is a horrible teacher, a liar and a fraud. However, you are sorely
mistaken if you think that Dumbledore is a poor judge of character and think that
he merely read Lockhart's books and believed them. Rather, there was no one else who
wanted the job! Snape would be the only other candidate that he could choose, and he
apparently has his own reasons for not wanting Snape to be the DADA teacher.
Lockhart was chosen as a simple matter of convenience.
Trelawney is a fraud, but she did hit the jackpot with the prophecy in the Hog's Head, so Dumbledore has to keep her around.
I think one of the main flaws in
reasoning is that Dumbledore merely wants the young witches/wizards to get a good
education. As we all have learned, book-learning can only lead you so far, and
Dumbeldore is more interested in a useful education rather than just facts. He must keep
Trelawney around, though, in case she pops out another prophecy on accident (as she did in PoA).
Quirrel... An interesting man to say the least, but nowhere in Book 1 does it say that
Quirrel's first year teaching was Harry's first year of learning. Rather, I believe
that Quirrel was a returning teacher, and had found Voldemort on an excursion to the
Albanian forest. Dumbledore wouldn't necessarily know that Quirrell was a bad
person, since Voldemort would obviously be an accomplished Occlumens. Moody/Crouch
is along the same lines, since Dumbledore had no reason to doubt that it was the
As for Dumbledore trusting too much, Erik begins to sound like Ron when he wonders
why Dumbledore keeps Snape around. Dumbledore has his reasons, as we are
often reminded. I think that Dumbledore's biggest flaw is caring too much, as
opposed to remaining a conscientious, fair and unbiased observor.