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How to Write a Teacher Resignation Letter Without Burning Bridges

how to write a teacher resignation letter without burning bridges

A teacher resignation letter is necessary if you resign early from your teaching contract. Resigning from any job is difficult, but resigning mid-contract from a teaching position is complicated.

Overcoming Challenges of Writing a Resignation Letter

When a teaching contract is signed, both parties intend for the contract to continue for an entire academic year. Schools hate to lose teachers mid-year because it disrupts the students’ educational experience and decreases academic progress. Although this is something that schools don’t like, it does happen.

From dissatisfaction with school policies and a hostile school atmosphere to required classroom changes or an unexpected illness, you may be unwilling or unable to complete the term of your teaching contract. If this occurs in your teaching career, you will be in the unenviable position of writing a teacher resignation letter.

A resignation letter’s composition can be challenging, even for the most adept writer, because it requires tact and consideration. The official document you submit to your school principal will set the tone for your final weeks at the school and your relationship moving forward.

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Write Concisely

When composing a teacher’s resignation letter, keep it short and to the point; this is not the time to ramble. Make sure you state your name and contact information, the fact that you are resigning, and the date. No other information is necessary for this type of letter. Here are some examples:

  • I submit my resignation as a Special Education Teacher at ABC Schools, effective June 25, 2016.
  • Please accept this letter as notice of my resignation as 5th Grade Teacher as of December 15, 2017.
  • It is with regret that I submit my letter of resignation as a Physics Teacher at the end of the fall term.

Resist the urge to include information about your time at the school or future career plans. You’ve probably already discussed these with your principal, so there is no reason to reiterate them here. Many teachers resign and then consider alternative career choices for teachers to concentrate fully on their next career. 

However, you may want to mention that you enjoyed being an active member of the school community and teaching the students. You want to leave on good terms, which is paramount because it’s professional, and you may need an employment reference. To help with this, thank your principal for the opportunity, even if you are ecstatic to be leaving.

Give Proper Notice

Even though you are breaking your teaching contract early, it is still vital that you try to provide your school administrator with as much notice as possible. This can go a long way to ensuring you don’t burn any bridges with the school. Finding a suitable replacement in the middle of the school year can be challenging, so consider this. Don’t put off telling your principal the news of your departure.

Giving as much notice as possible (never provide less than two weeks) will help your students and principal transition from your absence more easily. Also, remember to state your last day of employment so there is no confusion.

Should You List a Reason for Leaving?

Listing a reason for your resignation is not necessary. Do not use the resignation letter as a time to vent your frustration. Your employer probably already knows your reasons for wishing to leave – so there is no need to reiterate them here. Be straightforward and to the point, “I am resigning.” You do not have to say, “I am resigning because…”. Although your reason is unrelated to the school, you may include a short explanation.

If you do choose to include a short explanation, here are a few examples of options to choose from:

  • I was recently offered a new opportunity at a school closer to my home and have decided to accept.
  • I received an offer to serve in an administrative position, and although I’m sad to leave this school community, I’m excited about this opportunity to transition into school administration.
  • This letter informs you that I will retire at the end of the school year.
  • After much thought and consideration, I have decided not to return after maternity leave.
  • I have decided to resign for personal reasons.

Show Professionalism

When an individual decides to leave, it may be because they are unhappy, disgruntled, and dissatisfied with their current employment. Don’t let a damaging attitude shine in your teacher’s resignation letter. Use only positive, professional language when composing the message.

If your supervisor at the school has done something to upset you, remember there is no point in stooping to a low level and sacrificing your professionalism to get the temporary gratification of complaining.

You should also show your willingness to help with the transition. Without promising anything, you may not be able to deliver; indicate that you’re happy to ensure a smooth transition for the students and the replacement teacher. Here are a couple of examples:

  • If I can assist during this transition, I’d be happy to help.
  • I would be happy to help with the transition so that the school and my students will continue to thrive after my departure.

Know the Consequences of Resigning

Resigning from a teaching job mid-contract could look bad to future employers. They will logically conclude that you could do it again if you have vacated one contract before completion.

Do you need to take action steps to revitalize your education career?

Make sure you think carefully about your resignation before you follow through with your plan.

Are you so unhappy with your current position that you are willing to risk future employment opportunities as a teacher?

While nothing can magically make resigning from a teaching job easy, following these tips will help make the task as painless as possible and ensure your teaching career does not suffer.

Teacher Resignation Letter Examples

If you’d like some inspiration for writing your teacher resignation letters, you can view our teacher’s resignation letter samples here:

1st Teacher Resignation Letter Sample 

2nd Teacher Resignation Letter Example

You can also contact Candace by email or toll-free at 1-877-738-8052 for personalized assistance with your resignation letter.