In Real Life
and in fiction, a teacher who stands out in any way, does something even slightly unconventional, disagrees with the school's management, etc. often gets fired for it
. The teacher tries to get back his/her job, the students and/or some parents rally behind them...and yet, the teacher still remains fired.
Sadly, rarely happens
to a Sadist Teacher
and is conversely rather likely to happen to a Cool Teacher
- In Bad Teacher, the titular character's rival is transferred to another school—the worst in the district—when all her efforts to prove that that the titular character is among other things, a dishonest drug abuser end up making her look like a crackhead.
- Fräulein von Bernburg in Mädchen in Uniform gets fired in the end because of the Teacher/Student Romance between her and the female protagonist.
- The Cat Ate My Gymsuit by Paula Danziger - Ms. Finney gets fired for refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance, though her Hippie Teacher ways probably also led to her downfall. After a fair amount of effort by her students, she gets reinstated, but ultimately does not return, as she would be under a fair amount of scrutiny and would not be able to teach as she wished.
- Harry Potter series:
- Remus Lupin in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Technically he wasn't fired, he was compelled to resign after word got out that he was a werewolf; still, characters in-story refer to him as "sacked".
- Dumbledore was forced into resignation twice over the course of the books (well, three times if you count his being killed).
- Snape pretty much resigned as well in the final book.
- Hagrid might also qualify as the "perpetually-almost-about-to-get-fired" teacher.
- Sybill Trelawney also qualifies as she was fired by Dolores Umbridge in front of the whole school. This is later subverted in the same book as she gets her job back when Dolores gets fired herself.
- Averted in James Hilton's Goodbye, Mr. Chips, in that Mr. Chipping, though ordered to retire for refusing to adopt modern methods (such as adopting the New Pronuncation of Latin and placing emphasis on high marks rather than on character development), is reinstated by the protests of his students and their parents.
- The point being that it's a pretty upscale school and the students' parents, many of whom were his students as children, are now Earls, Viscounts and all that.
- Mr. Mell from David Copperfield.
- In the kids' novel The Landry News by Andrew Clements Mr. Larson is nearly fired after printing a controversial story in the school newspaper.
- Chaim Potok's The Chosen and The Promise go into this. Reuven's father helped found a Modern Orthodox high school yeshiva, but is, if not fired, edged out by the more conservative faculty that move in after the war. Reuven and Danny got to a yeshiva college where they both have professors who can't cover topics they'd really like to for fear of complaints.
- Thomas Chipperling, of Tomcat in Love, after his having relations with students and doing their assignments for them come to light.
- In Rally Round the Flag, Boys!, Maggie Larkin is fired from the Nathan Hale Elementary School after she gave her second grade class a sex education lesson and the principal saw the pictures she drew on the blackboard. ("How else do you explain anything to seven year old children?", she says to her indignant fiancé Guido.) Grace Bannerman, who to Maggie's surprise actually knows more about child psychology than her, leads an effort to have Maggie reinstated, which ultimately happens after she has a candid talk with the principal, Mr. Vandenberg.
- Growing Pains: Coach Graham T. Lubbock, months after finally winning a full-term teaching job at Dewey High School, is pink slipped. Mike – who earlier had complained about Lubbock for keeping him in line (despite his comically inept teaching skills and authority keeping) – learns that Lubbock is struggling to support a pregnant wife and seven children, and are living in an upstairs, small apartment on the poor side of town. Mike realizes that teachers are not suck-the-fun-out-of-everything assholes but people who care about their students, work hard and are underpaid even if supporting a large family. Mike rallies the entire school behind Coach Lubbock. Doesn't work – Mike (and Carol, too) are suspended and Lubbock is blacklisted.
- Until, that is, we conveniently remember that this is a pilot episode for a soon-to-premiere spin-off TV series on ABC (called Just the Ten Of Us), and Lubbock gets a tenured teaching job at a private school ... in California.
- The shop teacher on Popular gets fired after coming out as Transsexual.
- In The 4400, one of the 4400 is a teacher, and is forced to leave her job when parents find out she has an 'ability' - she can draw out the hidden potential in people. Some parents don't like their children to become musical or artistic prodigies, it seems. (Eventually she gets a job teaching other 4400s in the 4400 Center.)
- Another issue was that there were some students who simply didn't have hidden potential to be drawn out. Needless to say, those kids' parents were furious.
- If memory serves, the problem was that she could only draw out the musical and artistic talents. The kid might have had the potential to be the best pilot the world has ever seen, but she couldn't help him. So yes, the parents were furious.
- The generic fear was that she was using her ability to mess with her students' heads causing them to act out of character.
- This happened to a Hippie Teacher of Kevin's on The Wonder Years.
- Mike Delaney on All My Children was fired for coming out to his class. In this instance he was reinstated after suing the school board.
- On Glee when Sue becomes the new principal, she fires Mr Shuester. His students come to his defense and then the replacement teacher pisses Sue off even more than Will does. At the end of the episode she rehires him.
- Little House on the Prairie: The Season 2 episode "Troublemaker," where a mean disciplinarian teacher named Hannibal Applewood is revealed to have lost several teaching jobs, and forced to resign others, due to his ill-temprament. He is shown the door at Walnut Grove School. Ironically, he had replaced Miss Beadle, who was fired for her inability to control the classroom bullies.
- One Tree Hill: Haley is fire by Principal Rimkus after she chooses an honest if not necessarily school appropriate essay contest submission written by a troubled foster child student. Moral Guardians want her to change her choice to something fluffy and innocent, Haley refuses, and she is promptly fired. Her students leave school during her class period and travel to her house to be taught by her, because the principal (who is subbing for her until a replacement is found) is a terrible teacher who failed them all because they couldn't learn from her, but it didn't save her job. (A conversation between Haley and Rimkus at the end of the episode suggests that Haley could have potentially gotten her job back, but she would've had to apologize for choosing the honest, best essay, which she refused to do for the sake of her status as a role model.)
- In a Peanuts story arc from the 1960s, Linus had to be dragged to school after Miss Othmar lost her tenure.
- The Male Animal takes place in the wake of several professors being dismissed from Midwestern University because of alleged "Red" leanings. The trustees warn Tommy Turner in no uncertain terms that they will force him to resign if he reads in class the last statement written by Bartolomeo Vanzetti, the anarchist who was executed for murder. Tommy decides to stand up for his rights instead, and reads Vanzetti's statement to the trustees. They relent.
- In On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Mark Bruckner is fired from the faculty of Stuyvesant University when word of his research on reincarnation gets out and stokes public controversy.
- In The History Boys, Hector is not technically fired but pressured to resign after he is seen fondling a student on his motorbike., but it's also, to some degree, a way to get rid of him and his teaching style. Hector is ultimately able to get his job back, after pressure from Dakin, but Hector is killed in an accident on his way home from school anyway.
- Jamie in Family gets fired after the Christian school she teaches at finds out she's polyamorous.
- The Simpsons:
- Seymour Skinner, although a principal rather than a teacher, is fired for being unable to control his students (and for when Groundskeeper Willie falls on Superintendant Chalmers). Bart helps him get reinstated nonetheless, since even he thinks that the school is too loose under Ned Flanders (that, as well as some guilt for getting Skinner fired in the first place, especially unintentionally).
- Both Skinner and Mrs. Krabappel are fired when it comes out that they're having an affair. Bart once more comes to the rescue.
- Krabappel gets suspended after hitting Bart. While not fired as such, it is implied that the suspension is indefinite.
- She was also fired in another episode, more specifically after Bart and the rest of the students spiked her drink with alcohol for innocent reasons (they wanted her to loosen up. It worked too well). In the same episode, the replacement teacher also got fired from being drunk on duty, only that time it was the teacher alone who was responsible for it.
- While not a teacher per-se and technically fired, Otto also ended up suspended with pay for spanking Bart after the latter managed to hijack the bus while he was meeting up with Metallica.
- In a much earlier episode, Otto was suspended without pay for reckless driving (making up the time lost when playing Bart's guitar) and not holding a driver's license.
- Mr. Garrison in South Park becomes this after coming out of the closet in the "Fourth Grade" episode. After being re-hired later on, he tries to get fired again in order to get rich off of a discrimination lawsuit.
- Huey's teacher in The Boondocks ended up getting fired in the Christmas episode, because he used Huey's script for the school play (a script that was constantly rewritten by the Principal).
- Mr. Crocker in The Fairly Oddparents became this when a seemingly nice substitute teacher showed up and Timmy wished she was the permanent teacher. The Better The Devil You Know trope came into play. It was so evident the episode's Brazilian title was a variation of the trope with a word for "crazy" instead of a word for "devil".
- Quistis Trepe from Final Fantasy VIII is fired from being a SeeD instructor because of her "lack of leadership skill," after one of her students disobeys orders during the SeeD field exam and nearly gets his squad and a member of another squad killed as a result. Her one-sided crush on and favoritism toward one of her students may also have had something to do with it.
- Geo's homeroom teacher in Megaman Star Force is threatened with being fired when he protests using an experimental teaching tool on children. The principal gets his ass fired when the technology proves unsafe the very next day. He still manages to wind up as a country singer at the Grizzly Peaks resort.
- This happens twice in Bully, both times to Sadist Teachers. Mr Hattrick is fired after a side mission where he's exposed as taking bribes from the parents of the Preppy clique to give the students better grades. Mr Burton, however, is fired at the end of the game after Jimmy exposes him as a pervert who has a thing for the students.
- Eileen Flynn, a schoolteacher at a Catholic school in New Ross, Ireland, was fired in 1982 for becoming pregnant outside of marriage. None of her appeals were successful and it's entirely possible that a similar case could reoccur.
- It has. Recently, a teacher at a Catholic school was fired when it was discovered that she used invitro fertilization (forbidden by the church) to conceive, while a teacher at a private Baptist school was fired when it was realized that she conceived her child before she and her husband married.
- This trope is relatively rare in Real Life due to the existence of tenure. Absent gross incompetence or misconduct, tenured teachers are very difficult to fire, especially college professors.note On the other hand, non-tenured teachers are fair game, and school administration can quickly identify and get rid of a teacher who is clearly ill-suited to his/her job.