Harry Potter: Why Snape Was Harry's Best Teacher

Harry Potter: Why Snape Was Harry's Best Teacher
Image credit: Warner Bros.

For his horrible teaching methods, Snape was surprisingly efficient at making The Boy Who Lived unwillingly learn most things he would need to protect himself later.


  • Severus Snape was an awful Hogwarts professor who should have never been allowed to teach kids.
  • Despite that, Harry learned his favorite spell, several Potions tricks, and some offensive magic from Snape.
  • Even when Harry attacked Snape, the latter addressed the Chosen One’s fighting mistakes, helping him in the long run.

Don’t get us wrong: as a Hogwarts professor, Severus Snape was terrible. Abusive and neglecting toward his students, he ridiculed them for not coming to his class already knowing everything he was supposed to teach them and barely bothered himself with proper explanations. He was a bully rather than a teacher, really.

But surprisingly, Snape managed to teach Harry Potter several essential skills against, perhaps, both their wills, and proved to be his most helpful professor.

Snape Taught Harry The Most Important Skills

Harry Potter mostly learned from Severus Snape the best when he didn’t know he was learning from him. The easiest example would be, of course, the Half-Blood Prince experience: through his old book, Snape taught Harry a lot about Potions and even equipped him with several battle spells The Boy Who Lived would use later.

But it wasn’t just the book, as you might think.

Do you remember Harry Potter’s signature spell, Expelliarmus? It’s easy to miss but Harry first learns it from Snape when the Potions Master uses it against the notorious Gilderoy Lockhart. Ever since then, it’s the Chosen One’s go-to spell that saves his life on many occasions, including his numerous fights with Lord Voldemort.

Even When Attacked, Snape Continued To Teach Harry

Harry Potter: Why Snape Was Harry's Best Teacher - image 1

The Occlumency lessons Dumbledore ordered Snape to hold for Harry Potter clearly didn’t go as planned. Even then, the Potions Master recognized the importance of this knowledge. Though he was deeply frustrated with The Boy Who Lived, he continued to try and teach him to close his mind and be more aware in combat.

Even when being attacked by Harry himself!

“‘Blocked again and again and again until you learn to keep your mouth shut and your mind closed, Potter!’ sneered Snape, deflecting the curse once more.”

After killing Dumbledore, Severus Snape escapes Hogwarts with the Death Eaters, and when Harry rushes after them and attacks the Potions Master, they have a brief and humiliating duel.

After deflecting several Harry’s spells and taunting him, Snape still addresses the Chosen One’s repetitive mistake, which ultimately improves Harry’s chances of survival in the long run.