A bad teaching job can feel like death by a thousand cuts. In some school districts, teachers are often left to sink or swim on their own, without support from the administration. Therefore, it’s quite common for teachers to quit mid-year or even sooner. According to some estimates, up to twenty-five percent of teacher turnover results from teachers resigning before the end of the school year.
There are consequences when a teacher breaches a contract by quitting before the end of the school year. Your teacher contract likely includes provisions regarding the amount of damages you must pay if you resign from your teaching position before the end of the contract.
Are you thinking about resigning from your teaching job mid-year?
Quitting your teaching job mid-year is possible, but it’s not as simple as giving a two weeks’ notice. The process of breaking your teacher contract can feel overwhelming. So, after you’re done reading this article, I hope you have some clarity about resigning from your teaching position mid-year.
After dealing with unruly students, ornery parents or low pay, frustrated teachers are ready to call it quits. Every year, about eight percent of public school teachers quit.
How to decide to quit your teaching job in the middle of the year?
Quitting your teaching job, especially if you went into the profession loving it, can be the hardest decision you’ll ever make. But, if you can’t stomach the job, the administration, the school, or the overall environment, you might have to leave your teaching job just to keep your sanity.
Even if you feel miserable in the classroom, you might feel guilty for wanting to quit your job.
As you consider resigning from your teaching position mid-year, you might ask questions like:
- Am I being selfish for wanting to quit my teaching job?
- What kind of a teacher would walk away from a teaching position in the middle of the year?
- Am I a failed teacher if I quit?
But, you are an adult, and if you can’t go on in your current teaching position, you have to quit.
What happens if a teacher quits in the middle of the year without notice?
You cannot just quit in the middle of the academic year without notice as a teacher. In other jobs, people quit without notice, and they don’t have to worry about sanctions, but that’s not true in the teaching profession.
Once you sign a contract, you are legally bound by the terms of that contract. If you quit in the middle of the school year without notice, you are in breach of contract. In theory, the school district could sue the educator for breach of contract. Even if the district doesn’t sue you, they are likely to send a complaint letter to the state commission for a contract violation standard.
The best approach is to ask to be formally released from your contract to avoid possible sanctions. You can submit your request, in writing, to your school principal. In your release letter, make sure to include a detailed explanation of why you are forced to resign before the end of the school year. It’s even better if you offer a 30 or 60-day notice if possible.
How do I resign from a teaching job mid-year?
Resigning from a teaching position during the school year should be handled as professionally as possible. Before you begin the process of resigning from your teaching job, think it over to make sure it’s the right decision for you and your professional career.
Are you quitting your teaching job in the middle of the year for ethical reasons?
As a teacher, you might encounter ethical lapses on the job. However, ethical issues can also be personal, such as whether your teaching job helps you achieve the work-life balance you seek. It’s quite normal for ethical issues to influence your decision to leave your teaching position.
Resigning from your teaching position can be extremely stressful. You might contemplate the decision to quit teaching for weeks, months, or even years.
Ethical reasons to leave your teaching job mid-year might have to do with chaotic school administration or larger school district issues. Ultimately, the decision to resign from your teaching job might have to do with the school district’s integrity.
You might want to leave your teaching job for ethical reasons, but there are ethical concerns about the timing of your resignation. In addition, if you are a teacher, your role isn’t easily replicated; it would be prudent to finish the year before you resign.
If you are dealing with an unethical environment, resign as soon as possible. Your resignation should be tendered in writing and specify your last working day.
Is it legal for a teacher to resign mid-year?
Resigning from your teaching job in the middle of the school year may be considered a breach of contract. And your school district may have your teacher’s license suspended for some time if you quit mid-year. In addition, there may be other penalties specified in the contract you signed.
Generally, teachers are required to give a 60-day notice when resigning. However, if you leave employment before the end of the academic year, you could be guilty of misconduct, and the Commissioner may suspend your teaching certificate. Also, a letter of censure could be placed into your record, if you resign in the middle of the school year. While a letter of censure is not a legal measure, it serves as a formal reprimand. But it could make it more difficult for you get a teaching position at another school district.
If you are lucky, the only real long-term penalty you would suffer if you left before the end of the school year is that you would be ineligible for rehire.
What are the consequences of resigning from your teaching job in the middle of the year?
When you leave your school, you need to continue to be a responsible teacher. No matter your experience in the classroom, don’t accuse your former school. If you want to share any concerns or suggest improvements to the school administration about the school district and the overall school environment. In that case, your exit interview is the perfect opportunity to do so — in a professional manner.
You should also be careful about discussing your teaching experiences when interviewing for new teaching positions. School administrators will take careful note when you respond to their questions about why you left mid-year.
How to get out of a teaching contract mid-year?
For some teachers, it’s easier to get out of a teaching contract in the middle of the school year than for others. For example, if you are a teacher in a private school, you may be an at-will employee. Therefore, you can terminate your teaching contract with the standard two weeks’ notice to your school.
If you are a public school teacher with a one-year teaching contract, you are required to fulfill the obligations during that school year. The best way to exit your teaching contract is to ask for a formal release. If you have an emergency need, you may be granted a formal release.
But there may be personal reasons a teacher might want to get out of a contract, such as:
- A job offer from another school
- A military spouse who is forced to relocate
- Family illness, childcare issues or other personal hardships
And there are situations where the teacher considers the school environment toxic and cannot continue working due to mental health concerns.
What happens if you break a teaching contract?
If you want to get out of a teacher contract, you must follow and comply with the school district policy for release from your contract. Working with your school district should help you avoid any disciplinary action by the state against your license or certificate.
A suspended certificate may be reinstated later, but the process can be time-consuming. To get your teaching license back, you may have to attend multiple board meetings through the action of pulling your teaching certificate and the appeals process.
Disclaimer: The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice.
Breaking a Teaching Contract Mid Year
Breaking a teaching contract mid-year isn’t easy. The process can be overwhelming and emotional. There could be a variety of valid reasons for quitting teaching mid-year. Regardless, leaving your teaching position and breaking your contract at any point during the year is a decision you should consider carefully.
It would be great if your desire to quit your teaching job would perfectly align with the end of the school year, but this is not always the case. Are you considering breaking your contract mid-year? Weigh the pros and cons objectively.
Waiting to quit teaching until the end of your contract is ideal.
If you can, please wait until the end of the school year when your teaching contract is complete to leave your teaching position. However, this is not always practical or feasible, depending on your specific situation.
It is a lot simple to quit your teaching job if you can wait until the end of the school year. Waiting can be difficult, but it will save you a lot of hassle. Your patience will also help your students because they won’t lose their teacher. And you will be doing a favor for the school district by scrambling to find a replacement on short notice if you quit at the end of the academic year.
But we both know life isn’t always that simple. Whether it’s a health issue, a spouse’s new job, or something else, there are times when you have to put your personal needs first.
How to quit a teaching job mid-year?
You shouldn’t quit your teaching job mid-year without a “good cause.” Leaving a teaching job mid-year is a serious decision and will have a major impact on your career, students, and school.
A physical health issue is a good cause for quitting your teaching position mid-year. If you have a physical health issue hindering your ability to perform your job duties as a teacher, you might be eligible for medical leave. Realistically, if you cannot do your job, you cannot do your job, even if it happens mid-year.
A teacher might be forced to quit mid-year if she suffers from mental health issues. Workplace stress can have a debilitating impact on your mental health. You should seek medical advice if you cannot perform your teaching duties due to mental health concerns. On the recommendation of your mental health provider, you might be able to quit your teaching job mid-year.
A family emergency is another good cause for quitting your teaching position mid-year. Perhaps you must take care of an ailing child, parent or spouse. Family needs are more important than jobs.
In general, school districts are understanding of family emergencies. In some circumstances, a teacher might even be eligible for leave. On another note, if your spouse has a job relocation requiring you to move out of reasonable commuting distance, some school districts might let you out of your teaching contract without penalty.
Can a teacher quit mid year?
A teacher can quit mid-year with a good cause. Quitting a teaching job mid-year is an important decision. It will majorly impact your teaching career, school, and students.
You can quit mid-year if you suffer from a serious health issue or have a family emergency. Teachers are sometimes forced to quit mid-year if their spouse is forced to relocate for their job. School districts are understanding of health and family emergencies.
Resigning From a Teaching Job
Sometimes resigning from a teaching job is your only option. If you resign from a teaching position, it’s best to follow your school district’s requirements.
Schools ask you to notify school administrators and inform them of your decision to resign with a resignation letter. The resignation letter is an official record of your decision to quit your teaching job.
In your resignation letter, you should include details like your last day and how your current employer can contact you after you leave. Writing a resignation letter professionally and respectfully can help you maintain a positive relationship with your employer.
Breaking a Teaching Contract Before School Starts
Breaking a teaching contract before school starts may be your only option. If you resign from a teaching position before the beginning of the academic year, it’s best to follow your school district’s requirements.
Although many schools uphold your right to break your contract or quit, you should follow the school’s requirements to resign from your position. If you want out of your teaching contract, you shouldn’t wait until the school year starts. It would be best to submit your resignation during the summer break.
Before you submit your resignation letter, read your contract. And if you aren’t sure about your option, you might want to contact an employment attorney. Another option is to make an appointment with a union representative to find out about your options for quitting.
Write a professionally written resignation letter. In it, you should clearly explain your reasons for breaking your teaching contract. Explain why you cannot fulfill your job duties as a teacher. The resignation letter should clearly state that you will not be starting your teaching position at the beginning of the academic school year.
Deliver the letter of resignation to the school district’s employment board. Give at least two weeks notice at the start of the school year to give your school time to replace you.
Disclaimer: I am not a licensed attorney, and I am not a legal expert. This article is not intended to serve as legal or employment advice.