Monthly Archives: June 2016

Personnel File 3: The Case of Carl

This case study is offered as a discussion starter. The incident happened. The names are changed, but the facts are straight from the principal’s mouth. How did it end? I’m holding that, for now. How should it end? What reasons would you offer for that decision? Discuss this case with colleagues in leadership.

Carl—an art teacher who at one time had been named the state’s Teacher of the Year—had been “troubled” for more than five years. The principal knew she had to do something; this problem wouldn’t go away.

To some students and to their parents, there was no problem. They claimed, with notes and phone calls, that Carl was a “superb teacher.” They cited his award from his subject area peers, his spending time with the kids on the weekends, his displaying the kids’ art work in the halls and malls, and his “off the wall” humor that many kids appreciated. Some of these students had gone on to colleges and art schools and had done very well. Carl’s defenders blamed the principal for a “personality conflict between you and Carl; get off his back and let him do what he does best.” The principal knew that those comments came straight from Carl, because the parents related that their kids had said Carl mentioned during classes that “he was on the carpet with the principal” and that “some people are just out to get me and can’t stand that I go way beyond the school day.”

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Schools and Rules: One Biblical Perspective

Rules: Good, but not sufficient

In his book Falling Upward, Richard Rohr argues that rules are necessary for giving us the boundaries within which we develop self-control. Ultimately, however, the goal is not to be a rule follower, but actually to give up the control of our lives to another. We learn to live within constraints, “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). Pretty deep stuff.

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Filed under Christian worldview, Governance