Resigned from a job -- when asked why I left previous job, what do I say?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by Unetheladyteacher, Aug 11, 2018.

  1. Unetheladyteacher

    Unetheladyteacher Rookie

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    Aug 11, 2018

    I was given the choice to resign or be non-renewed from my previous job as an ENL teacher at the end of my third year at my school. I resigned because I thought in my state, being non-renewed means you have to answer yes to any questions about being non-renewed. What reason can I give for leaving my previous school? I was thinking of saying it was not a good fit, or I was going to pick a reason I like the school I intend to apply to and put that as the reason I left. The school I recently worked at also has a highly transient student population, and I was thinking of listening I no longer wanted to work with a super transient student population.

    What are your thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
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  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

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    Aug 11, 2018

    Be careful using the student population as your reason - it may present you as somewhat picky and unpredictable. Actually, in NJ, you would still have to disclose the non-renewal, because the question is have you ever resigned to avoid a non-renewal. With that question, there is no advantage to resigning, since you are lying if you say no to the resigning to avoid non-renewal.
     
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  4. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Aug 11, 2018

    If you are asking about the job application, I would put something like "seeking change". If you are actually asked face-to-face why you left, then I would elaborate on how it was not a good fit (and explain why a potential new school would be a better fit).
     
  5. Unetheladyteacher

    Unetheladyteacher Rookie

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    Aug 11, 2018

    Thank you for the quick replies. I am asking about the job application. Every job application I have filled out has asked why I have left my previous jobs.

    As for me leaving my previous school, I had not been given my notice of non-renewal before I resigned. I resigned because I knew the school was going to non-renew me if I didn't. I was told to either resign or face non-renewal. I'm just not sure how to word my reason for leaving because I feel rather like I'm sending applications down a black hole -- I have gotten very few responses from schools. I like bella84's idea about saying I am seeking change. I might say that I am seeking change and leave it vauge so that I don't get myself into too much hot water before a potential interview.

    Also, I will have to answer why I resigned due to a non-renewal in my applications, so what is the best thing to say about the non-renewal? I'm in NY, and they have similar application questions to NJ. I haven't exactly been able to avoid the non-renewal question on my applications.
     
  6. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

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    Aug 11, 2018

    This is, unfortunately, the exact example of resigning to avoid non-renewal. Many job applications specifically ask, on the job apps, have you resigned to avoid non-renewal. Should this come up when they check references, then it is, in effect, the same as being non-renewed. Tricky, isn't it? i suggest going with not a good fit, and be explicit about something you would like different - age group, subject matter, professional development opportunities, closer to home (has to be true), if appropriate, from public to private or charter, and the list goes on. If you talk about the transient population, you come across as judgmental and maybe prejudiced.
     
  7. Unetheladyteacher

    Unetheladyteacher Rookie

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    Aug 11, 2018

    Vickilyn, would you list the school not being a good fit as the reason you left the school (which is what is being asked on the job application), or the reason for your non-renewal?

    I also once left an ENL teaching job overseas because I was in an accident that made it virtually impossible for me to teach my course load, and the school ran in to some financial trouble when I started needing to take time off to recover from the incident (I was the only ENL teacher at the school, and it was a school that depended heavily on tuition money from students to stay open). Should I list the accident as my reason for leaving that job?
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  8. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

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    Aug 11, 2018

    If you haven't seen the specific question about resigning to avoid non-renewal, feel free to go with not a good fit. When my son was applying for a teaching position, I saw the "resigning to avoid non-renewal" on every application in NJ, KS, MD, and VA that was filled out. That's why I am familiar with the question. As one HR department commented on the side, there is no benefit to resigning to avoid the non-renewal, since you basically have to admit that or take the chance of being caught in a lie. Just what I learned in my son's job search.

    IF you have a good reason other than the fact you were not going to be asked back, and, of course, comments about the transient student population, yes, that would be where you would give them a great reason for you deciding it was not a good fit for you.
     
  9. Unetheladyteacher

    Unetheladyteacher Rookie

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    Thanks Vickilyn. Any help I can get will be great, because this is a tricky question to answer. I will say that I left the job because it was not a good fit. On this particular job application, they are asking if I have ever failed to be reappointed. I'm thinking this is the question I have to answer yes to and then I would say why the school was not a good fit. I just have to make sure the reason I give for the school not being a good fit has nothing to do with school demographics or anything else that can make me look picky.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  10. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

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    Aug 11, 2018

    Others may have different perspectives on the the questions. If you let the thread age slightly, more people post in the evening and night, so you may get more answers. That said, I would avoid the demographics like the plague, however, unless you teach ESL and that demographic would influence your choice.
     
  11. Unetheladyteacher

    Unetheladyteacher Rookie

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    Aug 11, 2018

    I do teach ESL. I updated the first post in the thread to reflect that.
     
  12. MissB123

    MissB123 Rookie

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    Aug 12, 2018

    My school was having layoffs and I was being non-renewed as well due to the layoffs. I used the layoffs as my main example, and then added I was also looking to work closer to home since my travel was kind of far for me. ($400 in tolls and gas added up as well). I'm from NJ, I didn't have many places that had me fill out pre-interview paperwork, only a handful. The rest of the interviewers didn't really focus on why I was leaving, they wanted to know and hear what I had to say about myself, my experiences. Only a few asked why I was leaving, and they totally understood when I said about the commute.
     
  13. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

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    Aug 12, 2018

    OP, I slept on this and would slightly change my advice. The not being reappointed question is not the same as resigning to avoid non-renewal. In that case, you did quit to avoid the termination, but it isn't phrased that way, so the answer would be no. As for the injury from accident, that says it all, overseas. Since you teach ESL, I would be very careful not to mention the student demographics, since many ESL populations are transient, through no fault of their own. Make it a positive - you are adept at making newcomers welcome, and able to meet the student where they are, at any level. We call it rolling admission, and it means that you can't start at the same place with every student, but you can make them fit in any class.

    Best of luck.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
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