Point vs. Counterpoint

PCP: Snape is the Worst

Snape is knowledgeable about the subject he teaches, but that is not enough to make a good professor. Sometimes having a subject come easy to a person makes it harder to teach because you don’t understand how someone doesn’t just grasp what comes naturally to you. That’s the least of my problems with Snape as a professor.

He bullies his students to the point where Neville’s greatest fear is Snape. This is significant because Neville’s parents were tortured to insanity by followers of the Dark Lord. One would expect him to be more afraid of other evils, but Snape abuses his power so much that this is not the case.

Snape also bullies Harry. Some may try to argue that Harry hated Snape as much as Snape hated Harry and therefore it’s mutual and understandable. This is poppycock. Snape hated Harry before Harry had a chance to form any opinions on him, before they even met. And all because Snape is still hung up on his childhood obsession (not love) with Harry’s mother, whom he abandoned for power before she even rejected him.

Also, a student disliking a teacher is one thing, a teacher disliking a student and bullying them to the point where it interferes with learning is way worse. Snape was abusing his position of power over Harry. He took out his anger that he had been harboring from childhood. That’s messed up and unhealthy. Not romantic.

Speaking of bullying, why in the name of Merlin’s most baggy Y-fronts does Snape have to shit on Hermione for wanting to learn? She is the only student that is consistently eager in every class including potions, but when Snape asks a question of the class, and Hermione has the answer, he just gets mad and insults her. If a professor insults a student for learning, they should not be a professor.

He also showed favoritism. Snape rewarded the Slytherin students when they did the smallest things right, then punished Gryffindor students when they did what he asked.

Example: Neville messes up his potion. So Snape says that they will feed it to Neville’s beloved toad at the end of the lesson knowing that if the potion isn’t made right it could harm the toad and that Neville, having no aptitude for potions, cannot fix this himself. At the end of the lesson the potion works properly and the toad shrinks. Snape takes points from Gryffindor because he believes Hermione helped him without proof.

Hermione did help Neville, but that’s not the point. Snape knows that Neville does not learn and do well under pressure, but when he makes a mistake instead of helping Neville learn how to fix it, Snape insults him and puts him under more pressure.

Failure is an important part of learning. Struggling to learn something and making mistakes has actually been proven to be what makes you smarter. Snape has created a classroom environment where students fear making mistakes which makes it impossible to learn.

Snape was also the worst occlumency tutor even though he was knowledgeable on the subject. He fulfilled his duty to Dumbledore by physically giving the lessons, but beyond that he did his best to spend all of the lessons torturing Harry. Snape gave Harry no warning about what he was about to do and provided him with no foreknowledge on the magical subject of legilimency and instead expected Harry to just figure it out on his own by continually delving into his mind. Snape’s excuse was that Voldemort would not give Harry any time to prepare himself, but that’s just an excuse. Snape should have been helping him learn strategies to clear his mind and helping Harry find what works for him. Then he should have made his legilimency increasingly more difficult to throw off. Since Snape is a crappy professor he did not do this.

Snape also stepped into Lupin’s classroom and taught the students about werewolves when they weren’t supposed to be learning them yet. He did this not because he thought it was important for the students’ learning, but because he wanted someone to notice that Lupin was a werewolf. Consequently he took away Lupin’s opportunity to present werewolves as humans with an affliction, not monsters. Snape also did a really poor job taking over Lupin’s class because all he did was ask the kids a couple questions and then make them write a long essay as homework.

Professor Umbridge is obviously also a horrible person, but I think Snape is a worse professor. Umbridge at least seems to treat each student equally horribly. She also doesn’t teach magic in class, but she’s not the first instructor to force students to learn the material on their own because the lectures suck. Umbridge is no one’s boggart, just everyone’s pet peeve. Snape is the worst Hogwarts professor ever to lurk the school.

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