View Full Version : Resigning from a contract.....

09-21-2008, 08:49 AM
I am so very unhappy with my job. The kids are out of control and I am hating teaching. I know this isn't only bad for me and my family but my attitude about it is going to affect the kiddos and that is not fair at all. Has anyone ever known anyone to resign from a contracgt during the school year? If so...what happens? I know it could mean a red mark on your teaching certificate but right now I don't care if I ever step teach again!! Please help! :cry2:

09-21-2008, 09:27 AM
Check your contract. Most places let you out of your contract with a thirty day notice. When you give your letter of resignation, give the reason as health or family health purposes, not personal ones. You won't be lying. The physical effects of teaching under stressful circumstances can be deadly. I know of MANY teachers who have had strokes and miscarriages due to the pressure of their jobs. (Lots more have bladder and kidney infections due the fact we can't drink water because we cannot go to the bathroom during the day if we do not have an assistant in our rooms.)
Before you do this, though, ask yourself WHY you hate teaching at this point. There is a natural dip that occurs usually beginning in October. This is especially true for beginning teachers. Do you have a mentor? Talk this over with him/her. If you don't, please identify the reasons why you are hating your job at this point and get back to us here. We can help you decide if this is an indication if you really do hate teaching at this point or if you are hating a certain aspect due to being overwhelmed or disillusioned. There are days even the most optimistic and idealistic teachers hate their job if they are truly honest. That is human nature. But teaching isn't for everyone. You don't find out the reality of "living in the trenches" until you actually are in the classroom all by yourself. You might be able to use your education degree in another way. But first, lets see if you really do need a change or are just in that natural dip.

09-21-2008, 10:00 AM
I have looked at my contract. I am on a probationary contract and do not see anything about resigning during the school year. I am a first year teacher and I come home crying on an almost daily basis. I have talked to my team teachers and they are hating this year also. The kids are so very disrespectful, do not listten, the resources provided to teachers make teaching difficult. I am not liking teaching AT ALL and I know my attitude is going to show in my students successes and this scares me. ??????

09-21-2008, 11:00 AM
Dear ars1984: First of all heed the advice of seastarmath. Secondly, this does not sound like a good fit for you, especially as a beginning teacher. I was also in a similar situation many many years ago. I waited so long to get a teaching job, and then was called in to take over for a teacher who resigned. Little did I know she was the second teacher to resign from this class during the same school year. The class was the same way. They were disruptive and disrespectful. Many of the parents were illiterate and did not support the school or the educational system. Attendance was poor and the administration just didn't truly want to know what was going on. As one teacher told me, as long as the kids don't jump out the window and kill themselves or another student; everything is OK. Jokingly I asked what about the teacher. She said that doesn't count around here. After seven school days I left. I told them, as seastarmath says, I was too "ill" to go on. I was. I was mentally at wits end. I even covered myself by seeing a psychiatrist for a couple of visits. At that point I confided in my college counselor who reassured me that where I was, was not a true school or experience for teachers or students in which to learn and grow. He told me to pursue finding another placement, and this time to be sure I carefully survey the neighborhood and school before accepting a position. I took his advice. It did take a few months, but the following Sept. I landed a job in another public school where parents, teachers, and students valued education. It was a place where respect and manners were taught in the early grades and reinforced by parents. It was a place where you could teach and not fear your surroundings. I am not saying you didn't have your minor behavioral problems or those one or two kids you wish you didn't have in your class. Don't throw in the towel to teaching just yet. One last resort is to work with the team of teachers to come up with a plan of expectations and consequences for students. If the plan is to work, you must have the backing of the administration, and for the most part the parents, too. Also, the plan must be enforced CONSISTENTLY! If they won't make an effort to create a plan, follow through on it consistently, and get the backing of parents and school authorities, you don't have a safe functioning school where education takes place. I hope I have given you some guidance. I wish you good luck. Please keep us posted. There are many experienced teachers on this site who truly understand the problems teachers face.

09-21-2008, 02:47 PM
Did you quit mid-year or wait until the end of the school year? I mean, it is just now September...almost October and I already am having these feelings! Not a good start to the first year of my teaching. It will most definitely ve my last year but I am wanting out NOW instead of in June!!

09-21-2008, 04:07 PM
Does your contract specifically state the dates of employment? (I asked hubby and son who are lawyers a"hypothetical question." Told them I'd get back to them on this.)

09-21-2008, 04:09 PM
Oh, also, are you in a state that negotiates contracts with a teachers' union and are you a member of NEA?

09-21-2008, 04:25 PM
I would suggest that you seek help from a seasoned teacher or an administrator that you trust. See if they can help you figure out where you can make changes that might improve your situation. Do your team teachers know that you are considering quiting? They might be able to help you. I really hate to see a first year teacher quit so early in the year. My first year I had some weeks that I was ready to quit, but a wonderful verteran teacher mentored me and helped me. By the end of the year, I loved my job! I try to do the same for first year teachers in my school. Good luck with your situation.

09-21-2008, 04:57 PM
Do you all think that knowing you have the OPTION of quitting (assuming you could do so financially and legally) would make staying in a situation easier?

ars1984, I hope you are heeding the advice of everyone here. A lot of teachers--new or not--go home in tears the first couple of months. Things really do get better after the winter holidays. Do not count on your team members for support if this truly is a "bad crop." You need objective help. Do you have a mentor? I can't imagine being a new teacher without one. The fact that you are concerned about the effect this will have on your students indicates you really care and teaching might really be your calling once you get into the groove.

Is your administration sympathetic and experienced with new teachers? We are blessed with such wonderful administrators at our school who nurture new teachers and give them every possible help and understanding. I hope so much you are in a place like that. I am feeling for you tonight. You describe me in my first years--the first time I taught and the first year when I re-entered.

If you are concerned about the kind of evaluation you will be getting because of your experience, talk with your administration before you burn your bridges. Just take one day at a time. Don't worry about doing everything right. Just pick one thing a week to get under control. Let me know how tomorrow goes.

09-21-2008, 04:57 PM
It says that the district agrees to employ the employee on a 10 month basis for the 2008-2009 school year.

09-21-2008, 04:58 PM
I'm not sure...I'm in Texas

09-21-2008, 06:03 PM
You should do some research before you make the final decision to resign. In the state of Virginia, if you break your contract, the principal and/or the superintendent has the right to ask that your teaching certificate be yanked. Very few do it, but it is an option for administrators.

09-21-2008, 06:16 PM
Hi, First of all, I agree with Miss Teach in the fact that I would hate to see you quit during your first year. I would like to say that my first year of teaching was "HELL" I've been told that if you can just make it through your first year, your on your way. I'm confused about the statement you made when you said, "...it will definetly be my last year..." in that statement it sounds like you have no reservations at all, that this is it, you want out with no looking back. I'm going to assume that those are just your feelings at the moment. My first year of teaching was the eighth grade reading and reading improvement classes. The town was small with no administative support. At the end of the year I would look at the ceiling at all of the spit wads. Disrespect was abundant. I'm not sure what I was expecting when I got into the classroom, but it definitely wasn't what I got. Many times I would go to my apartment five minutes away at conference time and almost not go back. (That's when conference times was our time) I keep thinking that I need to write a journal about my first year. I cried many, many, times that first year. I stayed there for four years. I have also learned that in your first year you also get the classes that other teachers don't want. I've been at the school I'm at now going on nine years. My first year here was bad, so bad in fact that I went to the principal and told her that I wanted to resign. I'm so glad that I didn't sign the papers. I was not happy at all with the team that I was on. There were a couple of back stabbers on it plus I was teaching in a town completely away from my family and friends. I was so bad at the end of the year that I was throwing up and having extremely bad headaches. The principal told me that I didn't have to go to the last two weeks of team meetings. During the summer she called me and told me that there was an opening on another team. I have been so happy the last eight years with the team of teachers that I work with now. I'm so glad that I didn't quit. I think you need to ask yourself if you really want to quit. If it's about classroom management or anything like that I'm sure that any of us will help you with any resource that you need. In the spring you could put in for a transfer to another school in the district or find another district. I think the advice of getting a mentor for yourself is a great idea. We now have a program (if you want to call it a program) of making sure that new teachers have a mentor when they come in. I wish I'd had a mentor my first year, but then again I feel like my first year made me a stronger teacher and made me more understanding to other teachers' difficult times.

09-21-2008, 06:31 PM
I agree with seastar-- don't rely on the advice of your team members are having a bad year and they are passing these feelings on to you. My school made exemplary last year and the morale of the school was so low. We were pushed so hard. We were told this year, that many people thought it was a fluke that we go that status because our at-risk pop. is so high. I will just say "Do you think that the morale of the teachers will be better this year?" You need to talk to someone more objective, that's not involved in the same situation as you. Everyone has a story to tell. Right now you only need to be listening to positive things. You need someone that will pull you up by your boot straps and tell you each morning "You can do it" and at the end of each day tell you "way to go, you did good" let me know how things go.

09-21-2008, 08:25 PM
Please don't get me wrong...the team of teachers I work with is fabulous! They are probably the only reason I am staying at the moment. I say this is my final year because I am so miserable in my job that I dont want to take another chance at being this miserable again. Life is just too short for me to hate my job, be stressed, and depressed about it most of the time.

09-22-2008, 03:50 PM
I resigned a few weeks ago. My last day will be this Friday. I chose this Friday because it's the end of a grading period, so it's better for the kids. I had a miserable first year teaching last year too. I was unhappy most of the time, and many days didn't want to go. My husband spent a lot of time reminding me I am a good teacher, and it's the school that's the problem. I ended up going back to the same school this year, knowing that I wouldn't be there forever. My husband was transferred from IN to KY literally 2 days before school started. So, I started the school year after talking to my principal about what would happen if I resigned before the end of the year. I was planning on staying longer but I can't stand it there any longer so I decided to resign now.

Good luck with your decision... think hard though about what it is that you can't stand at this school. Is it the school? Is it the kids? Is it possible it'd be better somewhere else? Don't give up on teaching because you are in a bad situation now.

09-24-2008, 05:00 PM
Don't make this decision based on how you feel now. I can remember my first teaching job, I cried my eyes out daily and wondered "What I was thinking?! Why did I think I would be good at teaching?" I thought I had wasted 4 years of college and didn't have enough money to go back to school to major in something else. Most of the teachers at the school were serious complainers and kid haters, and offered no help. I stuck with it, tears ever night and all. It will get somewhat better as you go along. Some of those horribly disrespectful kids will grow on you by January ( Yes, you may have to wait that long!). In the end it'll be worth it. If nothing else, at the end of the year, you can say I MADE IT!, and you will be a stronger, more confident teacher next year. If you at one time wanted to be a teacher, there was a reason. Kids need you! You can do it!

09-25-2008, 06:28 PM
My first year of teaching (which was only two years ago) I hated it for months. I told myself that I had signed a contract and was going to honor it, and I would do something else the following year. By about April I realized I was in the right place. Sometimes it takes a little while. Do you have some teachers at your school you can talk to about this? Ones that are not complaining about their students as well? It sounds like you may be surrounded by negativity, and that never helps one's outlook on their situation.
If the situation is really affecting you this much, you need to talk to someone at your school about it. Here, we don't know the kids you deal with or the situation at the school. But I would suggest you at least wait to put in your notice until Christmas, if you can, because you may be in the right place, and just not able to see it right now.
Best of luck to you.

09-26-2008, 03:57 AM
I'm sorry to hear that things are so rough right now. I'm in my second year, and I think I was just really fortunate last year with the kids and team I had. My kids were delightful (for the most part) my parents were HUMAN (as opposed to the wierd alien variety you see sometimes) and my team let me vent for an hour a day after school (God bless their patient hearts).

Do you have a venting outlet? It REALLY makes a difference. Golly, you can have my phone number if it keeps you sane. but seriously, try journaling. It helps get it all out. It also can help you track problems, reflect on your work, and figure out what to do as you look back for patterns. I'm still at the stage where I walk up and down halls at the end of the day looking for people to share stories with. when I have a problem I can't vent, I come here.

don't give up yet. If you can, take a couple of weeks, lay off the curriculum, and just do team-building stuff to get the kids onboard. after all, their test scores are going to suck anyway if there's chaos in theclassroom, so why not lay some groundwork for a better grading period next term instead of trying to teach subjects and pulling your hair out? Whatever you can do to move from chaos to basic rule following (I'd aim for games with low levels of rules and high rewards) will probably make life easier. Administrations in tough schools don't always "get" this, but I think it's worth two weeks of our time to build a rapport with the class and some level of trust and boundaries. I've not had to deal full-time with an off-the-wall class, but in my part-time experience, I've found that if you get those 6 or 7 to a manageable point through whatever means necessary, it becomes a little less tough.

If you can, get those rough kids OUT OF THEIR COMFORT ZONE and pull in some experts. check out Tribes. check out Quantum Teaching. check out Project Adventure. In Toronto, I worked with highschool team building (albeit for a very short period) in outdoor ed day centres. the kids behaved better because they didn't know what the frig' to do in the wilderness -- it kind a freaked these city kids out. If you have any programs like that, or project adventure, or whatever, go and talk to the professionals there and see if they can give you some strategies for your group team building, if not take your class for a day (i know, it costs money). I liked nothing better than watching big gang thugs dragged out to a high ropes course in the middle of a forest, all acting tough (I goaded them into going -- "well, if you can't HANDLE heights...if you're scared, then you don't need to come... ;) of course they came -- you can't tell a tough guy that he's scared of anything), then almost wet themselves when they're 25 feet in the air on a wire on a windy day. They might actually cheer you on if you go up last....it'd be a too-good made for TV moment, but sometimes, they DO happen. And it'd be a shared experience that might forge a bit of a bond.

Look for the one kid who deserves you in your class. Usually, there are 3 or 4 (if it's a bad year, 6 or 7) out of the 20 that make life hell. the rest of the kids deserve you. they deserve a good education. That's why we do this. the bad eggs, well, they'll end up where they end up. we do our best with them. There will always be a percentage of our kids that end up in jail, on drugs, whatever. I hate to think about it, but there it is. But the bigger percentage will be our police, mechanics, doctors, teachers, soldiers, dancers, artists, and so on. It's worth it to soldier through for them.

out of curiosity what grade have you got?

09-26-2008, 04:26 PM
ars1984: How did it go this week?

10-15-2008, 08:31 PM
I am resigning from my job this week or next week. I've had it. How do I go about resigning? Who do I give my resignation to? I need some info and details.

10-15-2008, 08:46 PM
PILGRIM- Why are you resigning? This might not look on your record if you break your contract. What's going on?

10-15-2008, 09:02 PM
I dont care about my record-- I am getting out of teaching for good. I have had no support in my special ed classroom for several years. I and my students have been allowed to be injured and no one cares. I have impossible students and no help. My passion for teaching, after so many years, is gone. I dont want to do it anymore. I got badly injured several times in the past year in my classroom (by students) and I've had it. I've been coming home crying for about 2 years. I'm tired of fighting for my students and no one listening. Tired of being unappreciated and ignored. Tired of getting hurt. Tired of being so stressed out that I get sick all the time. When I am on vacation, I'm healthy and happy.
I have found a great, new dream job that I can take as soon as I get out of my teaching job. I dont care if I ever see the inside of a classroom again.

10-15-2008, 09:16 PM
Oh my gosh! That sounds terrible. My degree is in Sp ed. but I am teaching k-4 science now. It sounds like you are in a multi-handicapped classroom? There is a high turnover for special ed teachers, for good reason, it is stressful as heck. Are there no other sp. ed. jobs in your district? I know this year it is probably too late. I taught a classroom of behavior disordered kids, which was exhausting. I then taught Learning Disabilities which was much less stressful. You are right, stress can make you sick.

What is your dream job?

10-15-2008, 09:27 PM
I dont want to teach at all anymore . i want nothing to do with lesson plans, meetings, staff meetings, NCLB, etc. I dont want another teaching job even in regular ed. I'm just DONE.

My dream job is to be a nanny for an infant, and I got it!!! I have been praying for a couple years for this, and I got an offer the other day!

10-15-2008, 09:47 PM
You were destined to work with kids! I love babies! I have no idea how to resign, but I would think you would give it to your principal.

10-17-2008, 03:44 AM
I went and talked to my principal first. Then I had to put it in writing. If you send me a private message with your email, I can send you a copy of the letter I turned in to resign last month. It's a tough decision, but if it's the right one you'll likely feel MUCH better about it once it's over.

Good Luck! And remember: one bad classroom/school/situation is not necessarily a good example of the rest of the public school system. After you take a break, you may want to go look at another school. But now you probably have a better idea of what to look for when interviewing. I know I do!

10-19-2008, 07:36 PM
Hope everything works out okay.

10-22-2008, 09:16 PM
I am planning to tell my principal in the next day or 2.

10-23-2008, 04:23 PM
I'm a first year teacher and the last two months have been unequivocably the worst of my life. I am suffering severe depression and find myself unmotivated to create lesson plans or even grade papers. Ironically, classroom management has not turned out to be very difficult, but I have four different preps to plan for (five classes, one AP) and I am simply in over my head and lack the will to salvage the situation.

I wish I had found this site and read this thread sooner, to know there are other people in somewhat of a similar situation (resigning mid year, at least). I come from a family of teachers and just recently finished a masters in ed. for certification. Everyone has kept telling me to persevere as long as I can, but night after night I continue to do just enough to slide past another day. My first principal evaluation went very well and I felt too embarrassed to tell him how I really felt. I do not want to get out of education, and I don't want to burn bridges; I hope to get an ed. tech. position for the rest of the school year. I am a perfectionist and unfortunately I give up when I don't feel I'm doing a good job.
The kids see the incoherence of my teaching and that I am wasting their time with busy work day after day, leading nowhere.

I have a mentor teacher; he senses I'm having trouble but I haven't talked openly about resigning. I wish I had started the process a month ago; our contract doesn't explicitly state 30 days; at any rate, I wish I could resign with a clean conscience at the end of the first grading period. But I plan to approach my mentor tomorrow and get the ball rolling as swiftly as possible. Thanks for listening.

10-23-2008, 07:28 PM
Teach 7, you have spent a lot of time and money to get where you are. Think twice before you give it all up. What you are going through is not unusual at all for a new teacher. It is important to tell your mentor how you feel about being overwhelmed. Did you want to go into education or did the fact that everyone in your family is in the field make you feel like you had to? If education was a choice, please don't throw in the towel yet. A lot of new teachers also have the class management monster to tackle and it seems you have that under control. That is a big achievement!
What do you teach? Is the planning what is getting you down or the paperwork?

10-24-2008, 09:23 PM
I did it today--called my boss and resigned.
She was not surprised, called me sweetie, said she understood.
Monday I will take in my formal letter.

10-27-2008, 09:28 PM
I got out of my contract today with no problem. Signed the papers, no penalties, no worries. It was all very easy and everything went well.

Cinema Verite
11-26-2008, 12:07 AM
I don't want to say that I'm glad to see someone else in my predicament, but it helps to know there are others out there grappling with this tough issue.

After much discussion, my wife and I decided it best that I resign from my school at the end of this semester. It sucks for things to come to this, as I have never broken a contract before, but I'm severely depressed in my current situation and feel I have no other alternative. I have come to loathe the students, my co-workers, administration, and the lifestyle of teaching. This is my 6th year, so I know well what to expect, and I know what the future holds. I don't think I've ever been happy teaching--it was just a means to an end.

Hope your situations are improving for you all. I have a feeling the storm for me is going to get worse before getting better. I know I made the correct decision, however. They can't do much more to me than what's already been done.

12-06-2008, 08:24 AM
My 2 cents is that anyone who is feeling overwhelmed and frustrated needs to find a group of 2-3 other teachers who are like minded to work together. That to me is how change happens. I meet weekly with 3 other teachers. Each week we set goals for our classrooms and talk about what has worked and what we want to improve. If a teacher is having a problem they can bring it to the group. We provide ideas. They have to take some think time after the meeting (in other words we cannot complain for 30 minutes) and then if they need more help they can ask for it. I think this works really well even if you don't have great admin and even if your classes are horrible. If with great support you still want to quit then maybe it isn't for you, but don't quit just because you feel alone. Seek out some allies!

01-07-2009, 05:50 AM
My 2 cents is that anyone who is feeling overwhelmed and frustrated needs to find a group of 2-3 other teachers who are like minded to work together. That to me is how change happens. I meet weekly with 3 other teachers. Each week we set goals for our classrooms and talk about what has worked and what we want to improve. If a teacher is having a problem they can bring it to the group. We provide ideas. They have to take some think time after the meeting (in other words we cannot complain for 30 minutes) and then if they need more help they can ask for it. I think this works really well even if you don't have great admin and even if your classes are horrible. If with great support you still want to quit then maybe it isn't for you, but don't quit just because you feel alone. Seek out some allies!

You make a good point, particularly since it's mostly young (meaning young in the career, not necessarily in age) teachers are the ones who are running from the profession. I may have resigned mid year, but that was on the principal's suggestion as well. I was very up front with him when I was hired and then throughout the year and a half after that as well. He knew my husband would be transferred within the company (he destroys chemical weapons... when the stockpile is gone, he gets transferred), we just didn't know when. When my husband was offered the job interview a few weeks before school started and then offered the job a few days before school started, I talked to my principal right away. I wasn't in an ideal school situation, so I was happy to have a good reason to leave. I told my principal what was going on, and he and I agreed that starting the school year would be best for the kids and the school. I have a lot of things to dislike about the school, but a lot of things to like too. If I had stayed longer, I would have continued to fight for more appropriate facilities and to change the things that weren't working for my students.

I hope that those of you who resigned don't write off teaching just because you had a bad year or two. It's hard to teach.