This has to do with the workload of Hogwarts teachers.

Subquestion: How many hours does a teacher of the core subjects (DADA, Transfig, Charms, Potions) teach a week? If this question has already been answered, a link would be very helpful!

In my estimate however, Umbridge hardly has any free time during the week to inspect other classes since she needs to teach her own. Sure, auditing Astronomy would be no problem since she doesn't teach anything at midnight, but what about the other core classes during regular class hours?

My calculations:

I seem to recall them having DADA at least twice a week up to OWLS, at least one of the lessons being a double lesson - making it 4h per week for each of the five grades, twice the amount since only half the students ever attend a lesson. All in all, she needs to teach 4h*5*2 = 40h for the lower grades. Then adding the 6th and 7th years who take DADA NEWT classes, that should add at least another 8h (4h per grade, the pupils not separated into different houses). So, when she needs to be in class for 48h per week -- are there even any regular class hours left when she doesn't need to teach?

Or does she simply go: 'Now, my students, read the next chapter QUIETLY while I go out and do some inspecting'?

  • 13
    Obligatory: JKR can't do maths. Most likely she didn't bother doing the calculation you've just made to check the plausibility of what she was writing.'
    – Rand al'Thor
    Apr 26, 2016 at 10:49
  • 6
    Either that, or Umbridge had a Time-Turner. The Ministry's collection wasn't destroyed until the end of book 5.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Apr 26, 2016 at 10:49
  • 2
    I think that we should certainly be open to the possibility that Umbridge carried out assessments in any free time that she had. She would've positively enjoyed it. Apr 26, 2016 at 11:07
  • 4
    Get Mrs. Norris to cover the class...
    – DavidS
    Apr 26, 2016 at 11:41
  • 3
    There is definitely something fundamentally wrong with how students/classes/teachers are laid out at Hogwarts. With the rather limited number of classes students take, they'd have to have at least four or five hours of each class per week to make it a full week—but with seven years split into two classes each (at least), that would mean teachers had to have about 70 hours of active teaching per week, which (as any teacher—presumably including former teacher Rowling herself—will tell you) is absolutely batshit crazy and would make for at least a 160-hour working week (that's 22 hours per day). Apr 26, 2016 at 14:05

1 Answer 1


Nice question.
Even with only 3h a week per class, this still makes 36 hours and so, not much time to go inspect the others teachers (whose lessons are on the same time slots than hers)...

I don't think she would dare go out of her classroom and let the students read quietly (cause they probably wouldn't... except maybe for the Slytherins?).

So I see two possibilities :
- she did her inspections in the very few free time slots she had
- she occasionnaly cancelled a lesson (or let the Slytherins alone) to perform an inspection.

(or a mix of both).

In any case, this explains why it took her many weeks (or maybe months) to inspect all the staff: she didn't had much time to do so.

  • 1
    Just a comment: are we sure there weren't more than one teachers of DADA?
    – Eithne
    Apr 26, 2016 at 14:28
  • 1
    @Eithne we can be pretty sure. Dumbledore several time mentions that the needs ONE new DADA teacher every year. With the curse on the position it is unlikely that the a second teacher was unaffected.
    – vap78
    Apr 26, 2016 at 20:00
  • Oh, sorry. Thanks for the explanation!
    – Eithne
    Apr 27, 2016 at 5:04
  • I doubt the Slytherins would read quietly either. We see several instances where Malfoy causes trouble as soon the teacher turns away. We are also led to believe that it's typical Slytherin behaviour to do so. I think the house most likely to sit quietly and read would be Ravenclaw (assuming they all haven't already read the entire book). Apr 27, 2016 at 5:21
  • @RED_DEVIL226 Yeah that's write I wrote "maybe". But I think this case is special, it's Umbridge we're talking about, and the Slytherins were the only ones to get along with her, so they probably wouldn't have read quietly, but at least wouldn't have done much harm, whereas other students would probably have used the opportunity to continue the anti-Umbridge fight that took place in the whole castle
    – LilyM
    Apr 27, 2016 at 9:18

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.