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How to Quit a Teaching Job

It is proper protocol to quit a teaching job via a letter of resignation that states your intention to leave your position and provides the school with details about when you plan to leave and why you are choosing to quit. It is also appropriate to inform your students that you are quitting your teaching job, particularly if you are leaving in the middle of the school year.

Give adequate notice. Unless you are quitting your teaching job due to a serious illness or other emergency that impairs your ability to do your job, make sure that you give your school two to four weeks notice before leaving. If possible, make your resignation coincide with the end of the school year, semester, or marking period.

Review your contract. Before you quit your teaching job, look over the terms of the employment contract that you signed when you accepted the position. Breaching your contract may result in forfeiture of pay and benefits. Although it is rare, your school may also request monetary damages that arise from finding a new teacher to take over your position.

Draft a letter briefly explaining your reasons for leaving. You should put your statement of resignation in writing. Keep it to one page, but outline briefly why you are quitting. Citing "personal reasons" is generally acceptable.

In your letter of resignation, give the school a specific date on which you plan to quit.

Provide a copy of your letter to all pertinent parties and offer a time that you would be available to discuss the situation. Depending on the structure of your school, you may need to give a copy of your written notice to the human resources department, principal, and dean. Your principal or supervisor may wish to speak with you about the status of grades or projects to which you have been contributing, so make sure you address these issues and tie up all lose ends before you leave.

Tell your students and co-workers that you are quitting. Even though it is not formally required, give all parties with whom you have a personal or close professional relationship verbal notice that you will be leaving. You may also wish to hand out cards with your e-mail address to your students in case they wish to contact you for letters of recommendation.

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About the Author

Anna Green has been published in the "Journal of Counselor Education and Supervision" and has been featured regularly in "Counseling News and Notes," Keys Weekly newspapers, "Travel Host Magazine" and "Travel South." After earning degrees in political science and English, she attended law school, then earned her master's of science in mental health counseling. She is the founder of a nonprofit mental health group and personal coaching service.