What Hermione Taught Me About Being a Successful Student

What Hermione Taught Me About Being a Successful Student

I’ve said this before and I will say this again – Hermione Granger is my spirit animal. I was an . . . intense student in high school and college: focused, a planner, and goal-oriented. When I read the Harry Potter books, I definitely saw aspects of my personality in her.

One of the things I love about Hermione is that she is unapologetic. She doesn’t apologize for being smart, hard-working, or always knowing the answer. For women, who are raised to apologize for their very existence, this is a breath of fresh air.

As an educator and student myself, I also think that Hermione has some great lessons to teach us all about being a good (even great) student.

Before we dig in, I have to give a plug for the podcast Harry Potter and the Sacred Text. The hosts have had some really in-depth discussions about Hermione that have made me look at her in a new light. And I have come to love her even more, flaws and all. I always enjoy their insights into all the characters, though. If you enjoy Harry Potter, you need to listen to this podcast!

What Hermione Taught Me About Being a Successful Student

Education is important.

“I’ve learned all our set books off by heart, of course, I just hope it will be enough.”

Hermione is thrilled to be at Hogwarts. She’s even read all the textbooks before she arrives! She knows the answers to all the professors’ questions. And yes, she is smart, but she’s also very hard-working. She stays up late finishing homework, essays, and assigned reading. She has a crazy-intense study schedule for exams.

Hermione isn’t just gathering knowledge to go on Jeopardy, either. (Although she would totally dominate.) So many times she provides a necessary detail or piece of information to Harry and Ron. “Honestly, am I the only person who’s ever bothered to read Hogwarts, A History?” Again and again, Hermione’s seemingly useless knowledge saves the day.

The more you know, the more control you have over your own future. You can get into a better post-secondary program, not get fleeced when you buy your first car, see a scam from a mile away, and be able to recognize false or misleading propaganda. Or, you know, save the world from Voldemort.

Sometimes there are things more important than school

” Me? Books and cleverness. There are more important things: friendship and bravery.”

Though she loves school and learning, ultimately Hermione will leave Hogwarts before graduation to help Harry destroy Voldemort. Over the course of the books, she follows the rules less and makes room for things other than school in her life.

As an educator, I always want school to be my students’ #1 priority, but there are times when other things are more important. A child’s mental or physical health or family problems are times when healing comes before education.

That being said, sometimes teens will prioritize things over school that just aren’t that important. Notice that Hermione only puts her friends’ safety before school; not a dance or a boy. Not sure whether school or something else is more important? WWHD – what would Hermione do?

[click_to_tweet tweet=”WWHD – What Would Hermione Do? She’ll never lead you astray!” quote=”WWHD – What Would Hermione Do? She’ll never lead you astray!”]

Planning is key

Hermione is a world-class planner. She even figures out how to take simultaneous classes, for goodness sake! Every year she makes extensive study plans for herself, Harry and Ron. It’s her planning that allows her to excel.

I work with my tutoring students a lot on the importance of planning. It’s how you figure out how much time you have and then schedule your work. Without a plan, little actually gets done. It’s too easy to fall into the “I’ll have time later” trap. But a written plan will keep you focused.

Planners make great gifts 🙂

One year, Hermione gives Harry and Ron students planners for Christmas. While the boys don’t seem that excited, I was thrilled! “What a thoughtful gift,” I said to myself.

I am well aware that few teenage boys would like to receive a planner for Christmas (though that didn’t stop me from putting it on my Christmas gift guide last year!) However, a planner is an incredibly useful gift. Just see the lesson above to see why 🙂

Libraries are amazing places

Hermione successful student

Photo by Michael D Beckwith on Unsplash

Hermione spends a LOT of time in the Hogwarts library. She knows that libraries are not only places to find books, but spaces for studying, finding dates, and answering questions, big and small.

At all my schools, the library was a hotspot. That’s where the computer labs were located, students studied during free periods, and librarians helped students find books to read or information for a project. If you haven’t been to your local library in a while, you might be surprised to find it packed.

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should

Even Hermione has limits. After a year of attending extra classes with the help of the Time Turner, Hermione realizes it is too much. She is just stretched too thin. She decides to quit the extra classes and give herself some time to breathe. For her, self-care is more important than taking yet another class.

I’ve had students in the past try to take on waaay too many difficult classes AND extracurriculars AND a part-time job AND . . . you get the point. Eventually, they came to see this was not the best idea. They were exhausted, physically and mentally. Be realistic with your commitments, both academic and nonacademic.

Hopefully, these tips will make you think about your own habits as a student and make some positive changes. Or at least read the books again!

What have you learned from Hermione about being a successful student? Let me know in the comments below!

Related Posts: Why You Need to Read Harry Potter as an Adult, How to Get Your Teen to Use a Student Planner

1 thought on “What Hermione Taught Me About Being a Successful Student”

  • Yup yup yup! I’m a big fan of Harry Potter and Hermione too! I must have read all the books at least 50 times. Totally agree with you on all the points. Hermione is a great role model for girls. She also teaches us that being prepared for classes always helps.

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