Bob’s Story


Bob was an innovative and promising new teacher. At a time when two hundred candidates applied for one position, he beat out the other 199. He was an intriguing combination of laid back meets Mr. Wizard. The kids loved him. He made good friends among his fellow staff members. Most of them, anyway. A vocal minority of established teachers didn’t like his new ideas. Despite this, his first year went well.

The second year was another story. Feeling more settled, Bob spoke up more at department meetings, not satisfied with doing things “the way they’ve always been done.” This made the vocal minority mad, and throughout the year they sought the principal’s ear. The principal was a weak leader who hated conflict. Instead of using conflict resolution techniques or suggesting face-to-face mediation, he simply fired Bob at the end of his second year. Bob moved out of state, got another teaching job where innovation was valued, and won several teaching awards.