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The teachers seem to be free to do anything, short from killing someone. Well also THIS happens and Snape gets away with it but we can be explained with the political situation.

So the teachers may:

  1. Decide how to teach and what to teach in their classes. Examples:
    • All DADA teachers had completely different style and content to teach
    • Hagrid teaches whatever he finds interesting
    • When Snape steps in for Luping as DADA teacher he just decides to start a lesson about werewolfes. While he does this out of malice, it again shows that the teacher do whatever he wants.
    • Some teachers are more or less incompetent - Lockhart,Trelawney, Quirrell
  2. Award and take points from students on WHATEVER reason they find appropriate. Examples (there are lots of them but just giving the most extreme ones):
    • Snape taking points from Hermione just because she wants to answer a question that he asked (first Potions class in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone).
    • Flitwick awarding points for very simple tasks in Harry Poter and the Order of the Phoenix (as a protest against Umbridge's rules)
    • Snape taking points from Stebbins and Fawcett for (presumably) making out in the dark after the Jule Ball
  3. Give ANY form of detention to students. Usually the detention is not proportional to the violation done.The most extreme examples again:
    • Sending Harry, Neville, Hermione and Malfoy in the forest during the night. Honestly that could be considered pure murder if something happened to them.
    • Writing lines with their own blood (Umbridge to Harry)
    • Answering fan letters (Lockhart to Harry). While not anything dangerous Lockhart is just using a kid to do his personal chores.
    • Umbridge forbidding Harry, Fred and George to play quidditch (although she had special permissions in this case).

closed as too broad by Valorum, James Sheridan, Shevliaskovic, alexwlchan, Stan Jan 24 '15 at 13:47

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Hagrid may seem to just teach whatever he wants during his sessions, but during the pre-OWLS period, it becomes clear that he's actually provided them with a solid overview of the likely subjects that are assessed. – Valorum Jan 24 '15 at 11:51
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    re: Snape standing in for Lupin. Substitute teachers will often use pre-prepared lessons rather than following the existing syllabus that the main teacher was using. These are known as "flat-pack" lessons. Note also that Lupin may have been avoiding the subject of Werewolves so as not to give his students too many clues. – Valorum Jan 24 '15 at 11:53
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    I've voted to close as too broad. It seems like you're looking for someone to present you with a book called "Handbook for Teachers at Hogwarts". – Valorum Jan 24 '15 at 11:54
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    Even a list of rules that teachers must adhere to in a public high school would be a good sized book, let alone a magical school. This topic seems to broad. – Firebat Jan 24 '15 at 12:52
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    Detention and punishments certainly weren’t unrestricted. Witness Filch’s complaints about not being able to hang students by the wrist, or use whips, or McGonagall reprimanding Moody for using transfiguration on Malfoy. – alexwlchan Jan 24 '15 at 13:30

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