Everyone has that one favorite teacher. Whether it be from kindergarten or college, we’ve all had at least a handful of good educators that have made school interesting. In fact, these great educators would make us forget we were in school entirely, enchanting us with more and more tantalizing knowledge. However, for every good teacher out there, there’s a surplus of those who we have loathed to be studying under.
Maybe they were too strict. Maybe they didn’t seem to respect you at all. Or maybe they couldn’t pronounce your name right for an entire school year or longer. Whatever your reasons may be, they surely can’t be worse than these bad teachers. Here are five of the worst educators in literature.
1. Dolorous Umbridge
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Among the enormous roster of professors mentioned in the Harry Potter Series, there are a number of bad apples. And, although many can argue their own opinion, we have to give the title of “worst” to Professor Dolorous Umbridge.
Umbridge is a highly prejudiced and sadistic witch. Although claiming to be a pure-blood, she is actually half Muggle from her mother’s side. This comes as a great hypocrisy when we look at all the people she persecuted for being Muggle-born.
As a teacher, her crimes only stack up further. She forces students to write in their own blood, mentally scars them, and relishes in their embarrassments. And she was the only other person besides Voldemort to scar Harry. Abusive, cold-blooded, and hypocritically deluded, Professor Umbridge is indeed dolorous.
2. Professor Moriarty
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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s beloved characters in his tales about Sherlock Holmes had always been complex and conniving, yet villainous and purposeful. However, none have the notoriety of Holmes’ final confrontation: Professor Moriarty.
Although we just get two stories that actually include the character, Moriarty’s fame is only projected from how little we really know him. However, the “Napoleon of Crime” is an enigma. The man is incredibly intelligent, and uses his immense brain power in his ruthless schemes.
Moriarty serves to be Sherlock’s ultimate foil, and, if looked at in one way, shows what Sherlock could have been had he used his intelligence for crime instead of justice. On one hand, Moriarty teaches our beloved detective to always be on edge, and tests his perception to the maximum. But he is still a huge criminal mastermind who would manipulate all of his allies so he could come up on top. So yeah… bad teacher.
Image Via Riordan Wiki – Fandom
Rick Riordan’s Lightning Thief series has a list of great and admirable teachers in the form of camp counselors. But of the whole entire Camp Half-Blood’s list of educators, none were more loathed by every camper and fellow counselor than Tantalus.
Riordan’s reimagining of the mythical villain makes him even worse than we already know him to be. As the man cursed for feeding his children to Zeus, Tantalus is unable to eat or drink anything for an eternity. And while he is out of his hellish punishment from the underworld as a substitute head coordinator during Chiron’s absence, he takes out his agony on all the demigods living there.
Tantalus is, quite simply, just a loathsome thing. Not dead, but not quite living either, he is bound to have some issues. But he takes it out on Percy and his friends mercilessly. Tantalus encourages violence among the already on edge demigods, and even somewhat forces them to chariot race despite the activity had being banned. At the end though, he’s sent back to his hellish torture, so this bad teacher will never see the light of day ever again.
4. Miss Trunchbull
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Miss Trunchbull is one Roald Dahl’s most brutal characters. Matilda and the other poor kids under the guardianship of this tyrannical fiend are subject to terrible disciplinary torture. As headmistress of Crunchem Hall Primary School, Miss Trunchbull leads with an iron fist.
Miss Trunchbull subjects kids to different forms of torture, such as forcing a boy to eat an entire cake after stealing a bite from her own slice. She even sends children to a timeout in a cupboard filled with glass spikes, and just physically and mentally abuses them any chance she gets.
To top it all off, it is heavily inferred that this deviant murdered the poor, innocent Miss Honey’s father in order to obtain her family’s estate. She even supposedly staged it as a suicide. That’s just wrong.
5. Mr. Squeers
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This guy is a real piece of work. Charles Dickens‘ Nicholas Nickelby is a long story based on social satire. Nevertheless, it’s an enjoyable story about the eponymous character and his life following the death of his father and the loss of his family’s estate. Many sordid characters exist in this sad story, but the worst teacher ever is contained in this tomes pages: Mr. Squeers.
Now, it’s one thing to abuse kids, most of the other characters on our list do it regularly. But this guy beats handicapped kids, and would basically get paid for it. The one-eyed Mr. Squeers runs a depraved scam where he takes in any family’s unwanted children and has the family pay him for their care. But Squeers pocketed all of the money. It’s no wonder that by the end of his stay at Squeers’ terrible school, Nicholas beats him to a pulp. Good job Nickelby, we were mad too.
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