The Complete Guide to Quitting Your Teaching Job

You are probably thinking that quitting your teaching job is nearly impossible but I’m here to tell you that the odds are in your favor.

Teacher Teaching Class

If you’re looking to quit your teaching job, you have found the right guide.

I have scoured the internet to find all your problems and viable solutions for them.

I will also cover how to quit your teaching job in the middle of the year so don’t go anywhere because I want to help YOU make the right decision for you.

Give Plenty of Notice


When I say give plenty of notice, that doesn’t mean 2 weeks, 3 weeks or even 4 weeks…although if you have to, it is still possible.

Plenty of notice means giving at least 2-3 months or more, leaving ample time for the district officials to find a replacement.

Sometimes finding a replacement can take months on its own, then there’s passing on kids records and school work which can take another couple of weeks.

THEN the replacement teacher has to pick up where you left.

That’s why it’s important you give as much notice as possible and everyone stays happy.

It’s also going to look professional on your part and help everyone that’s affected by you leaving.

If you can, leave at the end of the year so the officials have enough time to find a suitable replacement.

Let them know halfway through the year if you have to, that gives them 6 months to get ready for your departure, that’s plenty of time!

Important Note: Don’t give any notice when you first break the news to the officials. Wait until they have a replacement and then hand in your notice. You don’t want to give your notice when you haven’t even discussed that you’re leaving and then catch them off guard.

How to Quit in the Middle of The Year


A big question on teachers minds is; can they leave during the middle of the year.

Of course you can, this is completely possible and the best way to do it is between terms or breaks.

But again, you need to give enough time which is one of the important parts about quitting your teaching job.

You cannot give 2 weeks notice and expect everyone to be ready for your departure.

So if you’re thinking about leaving during the year, know that it should be done between terms or on holiday breaks.

You’ll want to talk to the students in this situation as well.

You have earned their trust and it can be very unsettling for them if you leave on a whim without them knowing what’s going on.

When you’ve got your replacement, a good idea would be to take them into the classroom and introduce them.

If you leave without saying goodbye, they may feel hurt or cheated and can stop them from learning for a short period of time.

Can You Quit Without Notice?


You can but you will be a fool to do this.

Even if you have enough financial stability or a job lined up, you will be breaching your contract and can be sued if the school wants to do that.

You will be liable to pay costs and any damages that occur.

And if you are lucky and don’t get sued, you will definitely have a bad reference on your hands and will probably never be able to teach again.

So if you don’t plan on teaching again, quitting without notice is possible but remember, you will probably be sued for breaching your contract.

There are a couple exceptions to getting around this though.

One is if you’re ill and unfit to work.

That means getting signed off by your doctor which states you are unfit to work.

Another is talking to your union about your situation and seeing if you can get an early release of your contract.

Otherwise the best way is to just give notice and wait it out.

Why Good Teachers Quit


Why is it that good teachers quit?

Why is it the best of the best somehow end up in another career?

Are you a bad person because you want to quit your job? Absolutely not!

It’s in the statistics, 50% of young experts quit the profession in the first 5 years because they get sick of it.

But why is that?

Lets discuss it below.

1. They quickly discover that not every student wants to be educated

The best teachers want to teach.

That’s their goal, to teach students about the world and pass on knowledge.

However, they quickly realize that not every student wants to be educated, no matter how hard they try make them.

This can be physically and mentally exhausting on the teacher that just wants the best for their students.

2. It’s one of the hardest jobs in the world

You may want to teach because it’s your passion, but many people will agree that it’s one of the hardest job in the world.

You have to work 8 hours during the day and then after work you’re grading papers and trying to figure out the next days agenda.

You just to have fill out so much paperwork, it’s endless,

lots of bookwork

Not to mention the kids that play up on a daily basis that create even more unnecessary stress.

You constantly have work on your brain, and even when you’re at home you sometimes have to make phone calls to parents which aren’t always pleasant.

3. Not enough income

It’s true that the stress involved and the energy expended is not worth the paycheck.

All teachers want to do is teach but because there is so much involved, so much stress, so much frustration and not enough pay for the energy put in, it makes them want to quit.

It’s not because they are a bad teacher, it’s because the income isn’t worth everything that comes with it.

If the income was higher, teaching would be more tolerable and there’ll be less good teachers leaving for new career paths.

4. Teachers are often disrespected

You see it everywhere, school teachers are blamed, criticized and attacked all the time by parents, principals and even politicians!

They question their teaching skills and qualifications and they attack them when they come up with a new policy or curriculum to switch things up.

Even the students insult them for trying a new lesson or new game. Sometimes these students won’t even cooperate because they think it’s silly.

Being disrespected and unnoticed by parents and even politicians is very frustrating for good teachers because they just want to be noticed for all the work they do, and this causes them to quit to find a more rewarding career.

5. They can’t find a work-life balance

In many jobs worldwide, you’re able to find a balance between work and life.

Well if you’re a teacher, good luck trying to do that.

There is so much to get done during the day and then after work there’s even more to get done.

Such as grading papers, preparing lessons and making phone calls to parents.

You’re just so pre occupied that you can never find anytime for yourself, your spouse, your kids and don’t even get me started on a date night or going out, letting your hair down and having fun.

Which will almost never happen.

So What Makes Teaching Worth It?


What makes the stress worth it?

What makes the endless hours worth it?

It’s certainly not the low paycheck so what else could it be?

It’s the students.

The students is what makes teaching worth it at the end of the day.

Students are fun to be around, they love to learn (most of them) and they are curious to see the world.

Watching them learn, grow and showing them what they are truly capable of is the best thing to see as a teacher.

And that’s what makes it all worth it, because if they weren’t a delight to be around, there will be no teachers left in this world 😛

Are You Absolutely Sure You Want to Leave?


After reading this article I hope you know if you’re truly ready to move on from a teaching job.

Do you have another job lined up or at the very least have enough money saved to fund your lifestyle until you find a new job?

Have you asked for leave time in case your situation changes, asked for a different class load or maybe even a pay increase if that’s what you’re really after?

Exhaust all options so you know leaving is something you really want to do and the best thing to do for your situation

The Final Takeaway


The very best of the best teachers even struggle at times. It’s not your fault if you want to quit.

It’s one of the hardest jobs in the world so it’s supposed to be difficult and challenging.

You should never feel like a failure as a teacher, because you definitely are not.

You are the only one in the world looking out for your best interests, so you need to do what’s best for you, not the next teacher, the principal or the parents, but YOU.

So if you’re ready to quit your teaching job, then by all means go for it because I know you’ve exhausted all other options and you are making the right decision.

Teachers are responsible and passionate, so quitting is the last thing on your mind.

Even when you think about quitting, it is usually the last straw and I hope you find something that makes you happy and you love, just as much as teaching did.

Let me know in the comments why you want to quit your teaching job. I’d really appreciate your input!

Cheers.

-Brandon

Job Quitters Unite

14 thoughts on “The Complete Guide to Quitting Your Teaching Job”

  1. I like your top pointer on giving ample notice. At least this shows that I am considerate enough to hand over students and their records, and a great way of not  ‘burning bridges.’ I have been a tutor for a few years in my life and I understand the frustrations of teachers, especially from students that do not want to be taught. If as a teacher you are not feeling satisfied and somehow overwhelmed, it would be best to quit. You have highlighted great pointers that should be taken into consideration. If teachers plan well, nothing should stop them from exploring other options out there.

    Great article!

    1. Definitely, I agree with you 100% Carol. If you are clearly not enjoying your time teaching and struggle to get out of bed everyday or keep up with workload, then it’s probably best to get out before the students learning suffers.

  2. My husband was a teacher for many years. So many times, I wished he could quit, and finally he took his retirement a little early. It was such a relief! 

    Some of the things that made it difficult were: lack of respect on the part of students, lack of support on the part of administration, mandatory changes in curriculum, excessive testing of students required by the state (leaving less time to actually teach), and I could go on. The pay, as you said, was not anywhere near being commensurate with the work and stress involved. 

    Thank you for this article!

    1. That sounds horrible. I’m sorry to hear your husband was disrespected throughout his teaching career. I’m glad he’s finally retired now and you can both make up for lost time.

  3. Nice!  This is great information that can be used to vacate any position.  

    I can only imagine that not all students wanna learn and that could potentially turn a bright eye young teacher into a skeptic.  Making them realize that maybe teaching is not for them.  Which is a shame, we could use some more caring teachers to teach future generations.

    Wow, there are many cons to being a teacher but personally, I think the pros out weight the cons if a teacher is willing to stick through.

    I can only imagine how rewarding it can be for a teacher to see the light of learning in a student’s eyes.  I was always excited whenever my kids learned something new.

    1. Oh I bet it would be extremely rewarding seeing a student learn something due to their teaching, and actually achieve better grades and go on to have good careers. The students is what makes it all worth it, not the pay.

  4. Some people just want to be teachers no matter what. They just love to educate and enjoy the brilliance of the student. I am sure all of us have benefited from teachers and we remember them and will cherish memories of them.

    They are mentors, guides, lights of life and society.

    No pay is enough or will be enough for them. 

    I remember my high school teachers working with my class day and night to excel us in all directions. 

    The way I look, they are forward paying to students and we after being established should open a fund, contribute and payback to our teachers to help them compensate their salaries.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Anusuya. Yep, I have many memories of great teachers that wanted to teach and create valuable members of society. The teachers that stay until retirement are the real passionate ones, they don’t care about salary because they enjoy students and teaching.

      They live and breath teaching!

  5. Hello Brandon, truly teachers are not given the required respect they deserve and most importantly, the pay most of them get doesn’t by any means cover their expenses. The are multiple reasons anyone would want to quit a job, but it makes so much sense when this is done the right way. Hopefully with tips like this teachers would find it easier to quit when there is room for a better offer without much pain felt by anyone .

    1. You are right and this causes them to feel disrespected and unnoticed, and that makes good teachers quit. I hope this article helps those that are stuck with no idea how to get out.

  6. Very good article! My wife is going to school now to be a teacher, and we have discussed a lot of the issues you have brought up. Fortunately she loves the idea of teaching children and I think she will be great at it.

    I have a lot of friends who are currently teachers, it is a shame with all that they have to deal with that they are not paid more. A lot of times they work well into the evening, buy supplies for their classroom from their own pockets, all for one of the lower paying jobs you can get with a college degree. I hope something changes to stop all of the teachers that are leaving the profession!

    1. I really hope your wife loves teaching and enjoys it, and doesn’t become another statistic of those who want to quit within the first 5 years.

      I do not know what will stop people from quitting their teaching jobs, but I do know that I can at least help them and steer them in the right direction.

  7. I like the way you hit on all the points of why, how and the encouragement.  I have two daughters-in-law who are teachers.  One is out because she had a baby and gets 4 years time off and they guarantee her a position if she wants.  She doesn’t know if she will.  It’s a lot of work and although she loves teaching her school has been tough.  My other daughter-in-law also was out for maternity but recently went back.  She left two positions because she wasn’t happy.  She hung in for a year at each.  She now is teaching in a school where she loves her class and doesn’t mind all the work and extra time she has to put in.   I am going to show them your post. 

    1. Good to see that your daughter has finally found a school she loves. Often times it is not the kids or the workload stressing teachers out, it is the people in charge, the bad staff and bad curriculum,

      When you can find that makes you jump out of bed every day, you have found a winner and I say hold on to it because it is invaluable to have a job you absolutely love in this day and age.

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