Have you been asked this interview question? Why do you want to leave your current teaching position?
This can be a tough interview question, regardless of your reasons for leaving teaching, whether logistics binds you (like moving to a new area), or ready for new responsibilities that you aren’t getting in your current role as a teacher.
It could be you have a conflict with your current school administration, or you are recovering from being fired or laid off. There are both right and wrong ways to respond to a question about why you are leaving your current position.
It is important that the response you give to this job interview question is truthful, relevant to the position, and shows value to the school district.
If you need help brainstorming fabulous ways to answer this question, or if you want to learn more about different ways to respond, keep reading.
Why do you want to leave your current teaching position?
Helpful Tips to Answer this Interview Question
Truth and Tact
Interviewers want to find out why you are moving on from your past position. If you were fired or let go from your previous school, you shouldn’t lie about this. A background check will easily find you out, so it’s paramount you tell the truth from the start. Keep in mind; you can make a brief explanation – don’t elaborate too much.
If you start rambling, you could get into a “telling too much” situation and possibly start to bring up information that could detract from an otherwise excellent candidacy.
Stop yourself from doing this by keeping your answer short and sweet. “I was laid off from my most recent position, but as you can see from my resume, I’ve demonstrated my resourcefulness and ability to bounce back in adverse situations by taking on volunteer experience while searching for a new role,” is a great way to turn a rough layoff into a way to talk about your more admirable qualities.
Brief Explanations Work
Keep in mind; you can make a brief explanation – don’t elaborate too much. If you start rambling, you could get into a situation where you share more information than is needed and may start to bring negative information to the table.
Stop yourself from doing this by practicing the answer you will give. If you know, you will likely have to explain a firing, contract non-renewal, or layoff, have a short answer well-practiced. Be completely ready to effectively verbal when asked.
Answer Why Your Were Released from a Job
If you were released from your job due to a school closing, downsizing, or layoff, explain your situation. Let the interviewer know you were not fired for poor performance.
If you were released from your position due to a more serious issue, you would need to respond carefully. Examples would be breaking a school policy, not meeting teaching goals, or not getting along with your school principal or co-workers. Explain to the interviewers why you were asked to leave but try to paint it in as positive a light as possible.
If you left of your own accord, be direct in your answer and focus your answer on the future, especially if your leaving wasn’t under the best circumstances.
Be Positive and Speak the Truth
Regardless of why you left your job, don’t speak badly about your previous employer. If you do, this may cause the interviewer may wonder if you will carry a similar negative attitude to your work on their campus.
Although it’s essential, to tell the truth, you need to use some tact when describing any negativity in your past position. If you tell your interviewer that your last employer was terrible, that they didn’t pay you enough, the hours were awful, and you hated the job, this will leave an awful impression.
Ways to Phrase Responses to This Question:
Why do you want to leave your current teaching position?
- I want to find new ways to advance as a professional educator. The position you have available includes responsibilities in line with how I’d like to develop my teaching skills.
- I’m looking for a bigger challenge to grow in my education career, and I couldn’t job hunt part-time while working. It didn’t seem ethical to use my former school’s time to work on my own personal career goals. I left that position on excellent terms to devote the time needed to find an ideal new work situation.
- I’m relocating to this area due to personal circumstances and left my previous teaching position to make a move.
- After several years in my last teaching position, I’m looking for a school to contribute and grow in a team-oriented and collaborative environment like this campus.
- I am inspired to seek a new career challenge and an opportunity to use my technical skills and experience in a different capacity than I have in the past.
- As a recent graduate of my administrative leadership degree, I want to use my next position’s educational background.
- Securing a role with more responsibility is my goal. I am ready and eager for a new teaching challenge.
If you are asked why you want to leave your current teaching position, you have lots of opportunities to paint your experience in a positive light. Your job interview response will vary depending on the reason you are leaving.
If you keep your response positive and tie it into your desire to be successful in the position for which you are applying, you’ll be able to navigate this challenging question with tact and resourcefulness successfully.
How would you answer this job interview question? Why do you want to leave your current position? Comment below.
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