Student Teachers (again)

Thank you all for commenting on my last post about student teachers. (And Belle, of course I do remember you!)

We introduced student teachers I think five years ago for the reason you mentioned most in your comments: people want to make it through all seven years of HOL as a student and earn points for their house (back then there was also 'playing on the Quidditch team as a reason, but house staff can play on a team now).

That is a very good reason if you are actually active, earn points and quills and especially graduate the year. Sure, all of you who have commented on the last post are doing that and beyond but not everyone who is a student teacher manages to do that.

The biggest problem with student teachers as such is that many are younger than 17 (which is the age limit for becoming a professor), and teaching a class for a full year is a commitment, time-consuming, can be exhausting and annoying and above all real life can get in the way.

Real life always comes first. It's just like that, this here is the internet and family, work, school, love and such are just more important. When you are a teenager and applying for teaching a HOL class, you have no clue what you're going to do with your free time in twelve months - this is an awful long time at your age. I have no doubts that every single student who applies wants to teach and believes that they can manage at that time. But maybe you will have to focus extra hard on school to reach your goals, maybe you fall in love and nothing else matters, maybe you rediscover the virtues of Neopets and maybe you go clubbing 4 nights a week (there might be a million reasons why you have or feel you have no longer time to run your HOL class).

This is not limited to teenagers or student teachers, but true to a greater extent than for those grown-ups who are somewhat settled. And this is the main reason why we do limit student teacher classes, look carefully what the student did in HOL so far and why we usually have to reject your student teacher application if you are just too new or too young. After all there are no student teachers in JK Rowling's Hogwarts.

But having student teachers was the right decision, we had and have many great classes run by students and HOL would be much poorer without them.

In your comments some of you also mentioned that they are disappointed that professors and staff can not earn points for their house. This doesn't work for multiple reasons. First we try to stay true to the Harry Potter Universe whereever we can - house points are given out mainly by professors (and prefects, headstudents) and earned by "the house". Even though there is an individual ranking of house points those do not belong to the student but always to the house.

You get points for "HOL Extra Work", for assisting a class, for student teaching, for a variety of reasons a professor would never get points because that is just their job. If professor points would count for the house cup we would run into a cat-chasing-tail type of points race where professors award professors points, professors feeling guilty for not taking classes themselves and earning the utmost points for their beloved house, and generally a house that is not trying to get the most points to their own staff falling behind in the cup race.

However, what I will do is setting up an area in the staff room where all professors and the student committee can voice their opinion (poll-type) on certain controversial subjects regularly. There are some open questions regarding procedures for next year where it would be good to have everyone's opinion heard before a decision is made. Felicia mention one of these in her comments, another one would be the required O.W.L.'s or certain chat room rules.

Thanks for reading :)

Regarding Student Teachers

I was browsing through the class applications that are already in and noticed very many student teachers, old and new ones. While we appreciate very much that so many of you want to offer a class, I was wondering why you apply to be a student teacher instead of a full professor.

I am sure one house or the other would love to have some more active professors in house matters. The more initiative comes from the house professors the more interesting your common room and house affairs will be.

I am really interested in learning why everyone who applied to be a student teacher chose that way instead of applying for Professor. It would be great if you could comment here with your reasons.

We can only have a limited number of student teachers per term and we don't want to disappoint someone with a good class application just because we just do have to draw a line somewhere.


Reminder - Class Apps Info

Just a small reminder to those 7th years who are Student Teachers or are wanting to teach next term. After you graduate, you can no longer *be* a Student Teacher. You'll need to apply as a Professor. *nods* Thanks!

All HOL-IDs are lower case

You login to HOL with your HOL-ID and your password. Your HOL-ID (students only) consists of two lower case letters and 3-4 numbers. There are no capital letters in any HOL-ID. While you can login with AB123 instead of ab123 (I might change this later) you can not access more sensitive parts of the site, like your private messages as the message script is case-sensitive.

So if you experience problems with your messages please log out and login again with your lower-case HOL ID.

Thanks a bunch :)

Library Project / Among the Stars

Mr. Xeno Lovegood is hunting for new writers for The Quibbler, and he is quite sure he can find them in HOL.

He asks you to write about "The Battle of Hogwarts", because there are so many weird stories around and he wants the truth, no matter from which side it comes from.

If you need more info, and the chance to be part of The Quibbler's staff, click here.

Class Applications - FALL 2008 - NOW OPEN

For those of you who were eagerly awaiting the news....

CLASS APPLICATIONS are now OPEN! They will be open for at least THREE weeks. I will update this post when we have a firm end date in mind.

You will find the application under the drop down menu for "Main Areas" to your right.

When considering whether or not you will apply to be a Professor or Student Teacher, you need to keep a few things in mind.

1) You must be 17 or older to be a full-fledged professor. Student Teachers can be a bit younger.

2) We ask that you have your website up and running (and active!) with links to at least two lessons.

3) The MAXIMUM points you may give is 30 points per submission.

4) Plagiarism is absolutely NOT allowed within HOL. Do NOT copy your lessons directly from another source--and, credit any sources you do use.

5) Professors may gain points, BUT they do not go toward the multiplier! Student Teachers may gain points like regular students.

6) We will be LIMITING the amount of Student Teachers we accept this year!!!!

Consider carefully whether or not you want to be a full fledged Professor or a Student Teacher. BOTH Professors and ST's are required to sign the Prof/ST FAQ each term and are required to adhere to the rules and expected behavior of a member of HOL. In other words, we all have to behave!

Current Professors and Student Teachers need to check the Staffroom and Student Teacher Lounge for info on re-applying for their classes.

If anyone has any questions or concerns, please send a HOL Message to the Head Office.

More information can be found in the post in the Announcements Section of the HOL Forum.

Thank you!

The Head Office

IE 6 Issues

I've got several reports today about rendering bugs in Internet Explorer 6.

List of Bugs

Internet Explorer 6 is an old browser version (designed in 2000-2001 and released in October 2001) and a very buggy browser that no longer is maintained even by Microsoft. There are more than 100 known rendering bugs in IE6, and to make a modern layout work in this thing you have to hack a zillion fixes. IE7 is much better, although it still has too many bugs.

I am adding fixes for IE7 all the time and the site should work fine there, it is hard for me to hack fixes for IE6 as I don't even have that browser installed anymore. If you want to upgrade to IE7 or - much better - just use Firefox like the majority in HOL fortunately does, then you get a much better HOL experience. Sorry for this but I don't know when I can add fixes for outdated browsers.

But things are not looking that bleak. Firefox 2 is the most used browser on HOL (40%), followed by IE7 with 39%. In case you did not know, tomorrow is the big release day for Firefox 3 and I can strongly recommend to upgrade immediately as it is noticable faster than the current version and naturally beats the Microsoft thing in just about everything.

So maybe those 13.5% of you who still use Firefox 1 and especially the seven year old IE 6 want to upgrade their most important internet tool now. It takes just a few minutes after all.

Logs and Frogs

If you got multiple logs telling you that you have been added to the N.E.W.T. class, then this was because some old code hidden in the dungeons of HOL was throwing you out again (this is the first year we have N.E.W.T.'s). That's been fixed now as I poked the troll with my wand :)

And I have some free Chocolate Frogs, message me today or tomorrow if you want one, hehe.

HOL 4.0 Launched

In case you haven't noticed, the layout has changed :D

But not just the layout, there are many things that are new (and many more things we plan to add over the summer).

If you find some bugs, please send me a HOL Message (in your menu on the right under "My Messages"). I really prefer if you message me for all things HOL that way and not by email, forum pm or whatever else you think is just convenient at the moment. I have a hard time finding all these things and replying to them on time - so if all things HOL are together in the HOL Messages I am in heaven!

I know that the new site is hard to read on your smartphone or blackberry, so I am planning to add a mobile style for handheld devices at some point. But that is not top priority at the moment as it is a lot of work and not of the fun kind (adding Chocolate Frogs is more fun!)

Hope you like the new layout.


All students who are qualified to take their Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests this year should have received a log entry now. If you think you are qualified and haven't received such a note, please send a message to the headmaster.

You need to be a Seventh Year student and you must have the required O.W.L.'s for taking the test.

The Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests should be available by June 16.

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