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How to Write a Teacher Resignation Letter Without Burning Bridges

how to write a teacher resignation letter without burning bridges

Writing a teacher resignation letter is necessary if you have to resign early from your teaching contract. Resigning from any job is difficult, but resigning mid-contract from a teaching position is very 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 negative school atmosphere, to required classroom changes or an unexpected illness, there may come a time when you are 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.

The composition of a resignation letter can be incredibly difficult, 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 – as well as your relationship moving forward.

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Write Concisely

When composing a teacher 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 of your resignation. No other information is necessary for this type of letter. Here are some examples:

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

Resist the urge to include information regarding your time at the school or your 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 so they can 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; this is paramount because it’s professional and you may need an employment reference. In order to help with this, make sure to 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 important 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. It can be difficult to find a suitable replacement in the middle of the school year, so take this into consideration. Don’t put off telling your principal the news of your departure.

By giving as much notice as possible (never provide less than two weeks notice), you will help your students and your principal to transition from your absence more easily. As well, always 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. Simply be straightforward and to the point, “I am resigning”.  You do not have to say, “I am resigning because…”. Although, if your reason is not directly connected to the school itself, you may choose to include a short explanation.

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

  • I was recently offered a new opportunity at a different school closer to my home, and have decided to accept the offer.
  • 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 is to inform you that I will be retiring 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

Often, when an individual decides to leave, it may be because they are unhappy, disgruntled and dissatisfied with their current employment. Don’t allow a negative attitude to shine through in your teacher 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 just 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, state that you’re happy to help ensure a smooth transition for the students and the teacher who is replacing you. Here are a couple examples:

  • If I can be of any assistance 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 if you have vacated one contract before completion, you could do it again.

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

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

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

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

Teacher Resignation Letter Examples

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

1st Teacher Resignation Letter Sample 

2nd Teacher Resignation Letter Example

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