Can I Leave a Teaching Position Mid-Year?
It’s difficult to decide to leave the teaching profession. But quitting a teaching job in the middle of the school year is incredibly difficult. No one does it on purpose, but more instructors feel they have no choice because it isn’t their first choice.
The pandemic has become the apex of a lengthy series of rising stressors in teaching. Teachers of all tenures, who are worn out, stressed, and overburdened cite their families’ needs, physical health, and mental and emotional well-being as the main factors pushing them out of the classroom. Simply put, the costs have risen too much. What should we do now?
Before You Make a Move, Do Your Research.
Look up the specifics of the laws in your district and state. Read your contract thoroughly to understand the proper course of action to pursue and the potential repercussions of quitting. Speak with the union rep you belong to. Learn about other teachers’ effective mid-year resignation strategies.
There may be Alternatives.
Use the collected personal and sick leave time to recover your breath before you go. Investigate the merits of a leave of absence. Numerous physical and mental health issues qualify for district-approved leaves. Additionally, FMLA is accessible to workers who need to take care of family members. Again, each state and district is unique, so speak with your HR person to learn more about your options. You may need a little time and space to regain your strength and gain the perspective you need to proceed.
If you agreed to teach for a specific academic year when you signed your contract, quitting in the middle of the year could be seen as a breach of that agreement, and legal action could theoretically be pursued. Your teaching credential can be suspended or revoked. Financial fines and costs, including the price of seeking a replacement, could be levied. These are the worst-case scenarios, and most school districts would rather avoid them. Finding a mechanism to release from the terms of your contract formally is your best action plan.
If You Just Can’t Do It
Few people leave a teaching post carelessly during the school year since it is a personal choice. However, follow this advice if the situation has gotten out of hand. You should put yourself first. No work is worth jeopardizing your physical or mental health or putting your family through unimaginable stress.
A successful exit is essential. Be professional and make your exit as smooth as you can. Follow the correct procedures and give notice of your resignation. If necessary, you can be required to remain until a replacement is found. Avoid ripping things apart if you want to keep the door open for teaching in the future. You don’t have to ruin your entire career because this job wasn’t a good fit. Additionally, leaving a job in the middle of the year won’t have a negative impact on your record permanently, even though you might need to explain yourself in your following interview.
And kudos to you if you’ve chosen to go differently! The time is now more than ever to consider your alternatives. You have more than enough talents from your experience as a teacher to prepare you for fulfilling, lucrative, and meaningful work. Trust your instincts; in the end, happiness is what matters most.