How to Resign From a Teaching Job

Leaving a teaching position can present a challenge.

While some teachers delight in completing their teaching duties, others decide they must vacate their position. Just as in any other field, individuals in the field of education must work carefully to ensure that they follow proper resignation procedures. Failure to make a tactful and appropriate resignation can result in difficulty obtaining employment in the future and may reflect negatively on the resigning teacher, making her appear unprofessional.

Select the appropriate time for resignation. Schools strongly prefer if teachers avoid resigning in the middle of an academic term. If you are working in a public school, there may be consequences for resigning at an inappropriate time. Many states have resignation cut-off dates, usually in mid-July. While you can resign at any time, failing to do so before this date can result in unofficial blacklisting and may make it harder to get a teaching position in the future.

Explore your contract for specific resignation stipulations. Resignation rules are often spelled out in teaching contracts. In some cases, there are even monetary consequences if you fail to follow the set procedure. Before beginning your resignation process, carefully review your contract to ensure that it does not contain any information regarding resigning about which you must be aware.

Compose a resignation letter. In teaching, as in other professional fields, you should announce your plan to resign in writing. Compose a standard business letter to your employer stating that you will be resigning from your current position. You can include a short explanation of the reasons for your resignation, but you should not use this letter as an opportunity to speak ill of the employer or the school as a whole, as this practice makes you look highly unprofessional.

Deliver the letter to the appropriate authority at least two weeks prior to your planned resignation date. You do not have to hand deliver the letter, but you should ensure that the necessary person receives it. If your school has staff mailboxes, placing the letter in the administrator's box is permissible.

Leave your teaching post gracefully. Regardless of your feelings toward your co-workers or the institution, you should retain your professionalism, as you may need recommendations in the future. Be polite toward your employer and co-workers and avoid making your exit a stressful or drama-filled one.

Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.