Most experienced educators will tell you that no respectable teacher would resign their position in the middle of the school year. Some would say that it was unheard of, whether it was written in their contracts or not, it didn’t matter. Today is a new day and resignations are part of the business. Realistically public education, for as much as we try to emulate other industries, a resignation impacts more than a production line. It impacts children, no matter the position.
Resignations are the dilemma for some of whether it is more noble to stay and suffer or just leave a teaching job that they are not happy with. For others it is more a decision on how to execute the resignation. Unfortunately, that execution depends on their feelings about the current administration or children they serve more than it does on the new position they are going to start next. Like in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, this type of decision can push someone through a vortex of emotions and thoughts regarding what to do.
Let me make it simple...
- As an adult, you have the right to resign but don’t just walk out and leave keys on the desk, you are a professional.
- As a professional, submit a written resignation using a letter format or district provided form and if possible provide at least a two-week notice.
- As an educator, never strip down your classroom materials like a thief in the night and not inform the administration that you are resigning. The children have to come to the classroom, think about them for a minute. Take what you need or what belongs to you, leave the rest.
- Although you are leaving, how you leave matters. Don’t say anything that you may regret later when you have to apply back to the district or school. You never know what bridge you will have to cross again, so don’t burn them unnecessarily.
- Leave at least a week of lesson plans... Yes, I said it.. Leave lesson plans for the next person. Why? No matter how you feel about the principal, this is not a grocery store or factory. When you leave, the students may be without a teacher for a period of time, so don’t harm them because you are mad at adults.
- Know when to say, “This is It”. When you are not serving the best interest of the children and the school, it is okay to just resign. Teaching is not for everyone, like any profession this is not a right fit for everyone. There are many other professions out there that make a difference and there is a place for you.
Supervisor of Personnel Management- High Schools
East Baton Rouge Parish School System
The opinions expressed in Career Corner are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.