Breaking teaching contract

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by PenCelia, Aug 14, 2005.

  1. PenCelia

    PenCelia Rookie

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    Aug 14, 2005

    Hi ya'll
    I was wondering if anyone has had experience in breaking a teaching contract? Background moved to VA in Nov of last yr to take a k teaching job. I really didn't like it down there but moved back to NH for the summer. Even though I signed contract I really don't want to go back. The cost of living is really high (my rent for studio was more then one of my paychecks) and I was miserable because all my family and friends live in NH. I also have some health concerns (just had minor surgery) that cause me to want to stay in NH. My question is since that was my first yr. contract how hard is it to get out of contract at this point. Will some school let you go without taking action against your license? I know that the policy is that you can't accept a new position until you are released and they can take action against your license. Would that follow me to NH? I may have a job offer here but I just don't want to go back to VA. What happens to my healthcare coverage for the past summer? Is that still good? Thanks! Sarah
     
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  3. katerina03

    katerina03 Devotee

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    I'm thinking of moving to Va next year to look for work. What area were you in down there so I can avoid it.
     
  4. PenCelia

    PenCelia Rookie

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    I replied to you via e-mail about the school district. It really wasn't the district itself I just didn't like the city living and the prices made it hard to survive. Anyone have imput on my decision?Can I use medical reasons for breaking contract without being penalized?
     
  5. SmartCookie

    SmartCookie Comrade

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    Aug 14, 2005

    I live in California which is an "Employment at Will" state. Despite the threats of legal action their is little they can really do to hold you to a contract. In my district peoplewalk away from signed contracts all the time without any action. They can't do anything to our credentials for leaving a contract. The only thing I would worry about is burning a bridge that you may want a recomendation from. I feel your pain about high cost of living.

    Good Luck
     
  6. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Aug 14, 2005

    Call your union rep. I know in my district they will usually let people out of a contract, because if you don't want to be there they don't want you.
     
  7. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Aug 14, 2005

    If I were you, I'd look into taking a leave of absence for medical reasons (with your recent surgery). Our district grants us up to two years for that. And then you can cancel your leave at any time and turn it into a termination. On your terms. Otherwise, at this point, with the school year looming so close, you'd really look like you're deserting your classroom, and an angry principal COULD take it out on you, even just by refusing to grant you a good reference for future employment.
    Kim
     
  8. jenglish97

    jenglish97 Devotee

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    I would call your union rep in VA and ask what and how I should go about getting out of your contract. Every state is different. You need to read your contract from VA and see what it says about giving notice to leave your position. YOu can resign but need to give notice of what is documented in your contract. In my district, we need to give 60 day notice when we resign from our teaching job. Good luck...
     
  9. wvsasha

    wvsasha Companion

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    Aug 14, 2005

    My dad broke a contract in the MIDDLE of the school year in Virginia several years ago. (Long story short - he had gone back to teaching as a career change and couldn't support 5 of us on a teaching salary so he HAD to go back to his previous career to feed us.) Anyway, nothing ever was done to him - the county nor the state ever said 'boo' to him about it. He just gave them notice and worked to the end of the semester and that was that.

    He is now once again teaching (in West Virginia) since all three of us kids are out of the house. He *really* wants to teach. But I feel pretty strongly that he could go back to VA if he wanted to in spite of walking out mid-year.

    I think every one recognizes that there are extenuating circumstances sometimes as well as people just change their minds about where they want to work. Just be up front with everyone and be sure to give them time to fill your position. Good luck.
     
  10. NathalieBug

    NathalieBug Rookie

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    Hi,
    From what I have already researched about breaking a teaching contract, it is really up to the school district whether or not they will allow you to leave a contract. If you have a good medical excuse (lucky you) then you shouldn't have too much to be concerned about. You're in a position where if they deny your request or attempt to strip your credentials you have grounds for a lawsuit and trust me, the last thing any school district wants is a big, messy, public lawsuit.

    I have a similar problem. I feel incredibly trapped in my contract. I will be starting my third week in the school year on Monday. I am teaching 8th grade at an inner city school. Let's put it this way....the projects are directly across the street and continue for about a mile on both sides. The coach had his car stolen the second day....and his keys were on his person. Yeah, its bad. I want to teach, I really do, but teaching children who have no desire whatsoever to learn squat is disheartening to say the least. Not only do they not want to learn, they are vicious. Half of them already have mini-families to support and a good number are just waiting impatiently until they turn 16 so they can drop out. Sometimes I'm afraid of them, although I never show it. When I signed up for this job, I had never seen the school, although I'd seen the town. After touring the town I found it to be a lovely little area and agreed to work for the junior high...until I saw the particular junior high they had in mind for me, but then it was too late. Yes, I made a stupid mistake....so how do I rectify it now? I spent the majority of the day in tears over the knowledge that I would have to return to work tomorrow. ::sigh::

    Nat
     
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  11. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Aug 14, 2005

    I got out of my contract after a week of teaching. (It was a HORRIBLE situation and I was frankly scared of some of the kids I was "teaching".) I told the principal Friday is my last day. She came by the room and said they had a new applicant and that they would let me out of my contract. She wasn't happy about it, but I had to do what was right for me. (Three days in I was throwing up blood.) The guy that replaced me lasted 2 weeks, the next lady lasted 1 day, and then it was a series of subs that the kids threatened, threw things at, etc. Of course that was an extreme case so it wasn't that bad to get out of.
     
  12. katerina03

    katerina03 Devotee

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    Christy, please tell me , what did the pricipal do to control these monsters?? That is horrendous!
     
  13. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Aug 15, 2005

    She did nothing. That was part of the problem. I wrote up the kids who blatantly stole from me and she tore up the sheets in front of them. It was a Jr. High, but I had kids 17 and 18 years old. She just didn't have a clue about controlling the kids. They would actually stand outside the house I was renting. (They didn't come onto the property, but stood in a group just outside the fence.) It was a horrible experience, but I learned a lot (mainly not to blindly take a job and to question why a teacher would be leaving in the middle of the year with no other job in sight.)
     
  14. TeacherRW

    TeacherRW Cohort

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    Aug 15, 2005

    Try calling your Human Resources director at the District. I would think that in most cases, they would release you from a contract should you request it. In most situations, I am sure that they wouldn't want to keep you if you don't want to be there. There are ususally enough teachers looking for a job so finding a replacement should not be that big of a deal.

    Good luck...
    ~*Robin*~
     
  15. NathalieBug

    NathalieBug Rookie

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    I don't know about the rest of you guys, but I had a rather strange situation. The school district was struggling for teachers. They hired me and I do not even have an education degree. I've seen graduates on these boards upset because, as one girl put it, "there are 300 applicants for every position". Not where I am. I like the principal and I like the administration, but I noticed from the very beginning that they had some rather nasty things to say about people who left after only one year. That should have tipped me off, it really should have.
     
  16. pfnw

    pfnw Rookie

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    Oregon requires you to give a 60 day notice to break your contract. If you don't, the school dist. may ask the state to pull your license. Its up to the dist.
     
  17. pfnw

    pfnw Rookie

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    Wow Christy!!!! I can't imagine teaching in a school with that kind of administrator!!! I know that if that happened in my school, the principal would be run out of town on a rail. (I do live in the wild west!!! :D )

    My current principal came from an elementary school to the middle school and started out weak on discipline, but we veteran teachers sat down with him to explain (and coach) how to discipline m/s kids. He has made great progress.
     
  18. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    pfnw,
    Thankfully you had a principal who was willing to learn! In my last school we got a principal coming from middle school to elementary, and he didn't understand the differences in kids and curriculum. The worst part was he was not willing to put in the time or effort to learn his new job. I transferred at the end of the year to a different building.
     
  19. katerina03

    katerina03 Devotee

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    That is so funny to think of a principal being chased out of town LOL.
     
  20. amdkenne

    amdkenne New Member

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    Breaking a contract in VA

    Sarah,

    Most districts in Virginia will let you out of a contract with no problem as long as they can find someone to fill your position. If they are unable to hire someone to replace you (and have to use a long term substitute) then you will be barred from teaching in Virginia for five years. So, unless you plan to return to Virginia to teach in the next five years...I'd say you should just go with your heart and break the contract. If you are flexible enough to stay until they can hire someone else, then you can probably still get a good recommendation out of it.

    Good luck,
    Amber
     
  21. PenCelia

    PenCelia Rookie

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    Thanks Amber and all,
    I'm going to give my final decision on Monday. I may have an offer here(nh) for special education case manager. I'll see what the deal is with that. I know it is alot less money but if they will pay for classes I can use it to get my school psychologist degree. If not I'm back to VA for one more year.
     
  22. NathalieBug

    NathalieBug Rookie

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    Does anyone know anything about the stipulations for teaching contracts in Alabama?
     
  23. litzy

    litzy New Member

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    Breaking Contract in Texas

    Hi, I really need help on my current situation. I am a new teacher at a local middle school. I do not have an education degree and was given 3 subjects and 3 grades to teach. I have a mentor but she does not help me at all and the rest of the teachers won't help me either. I teach over 200 kids and I am getting physically ill and I want to break my contract. I was offered another job but I am afraid of what might happen to me if I break the contract. I am not happy with my job, I cry everyday, and I feel lost and useless! Please help!!

    Lost in Texas
     
  24. emccoy

    emccoy Companion

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    I don't know about folks these days. I just can't imagine one of the new kids at the school coming to me for help and that I would refuse to help. How can you do that to a newbie? I don't know what to offer in the way of advice, but I have all the sympathy in the world for you folks who are in "yucky" situations.

    Best Wishes & good luck,
    Ed
     
  25. jteach

    jteach New Member

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    Kicked and confused

    Reading all of the postings on this thread have helped me, just to know there are others out there who are feeling the same way.

    Halfway through my second week of teaching (this is my first year), one of my students kicked me and nothing was done to him. This incident is the last in a litany of much violence and zero administration support. I am so bewildered--no teaching has happened yet, and now I am afraid for my safety. I'm so conflicted, because I want to teach, I'm excited about it, but right now I feel so afraid to go back to school that I am sick in the mornings when I wake up. I haven't been back to school since this happened. My pay is so low I'm going to have to work a second job anyway just to make ends meet, and now this is happening. I do not work for a public school district, so I don't have the union to turn to. I am worried about tarnishing my resume, but don't want to trade my safety for that.

    Any suggestions? Has anyone out there had experience in breaking a contract for a private school? Any advice is great.
     
  26. Lovelabs

    Lovelabs Comrade

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    Sep 16, 2005

    Tell them if they aren't going to do anything, you will call your attorney. By law you could have filed charges against that child.
     
  27. jteach

    jteach New Member

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    Lawyer a good idea

    I did end up visiting my lawyer, and he had some good advice. I am leaving my school; my lawyer is confident that my school will not come after me due to any potential bad publicity. I'll let y'all know how it goes.

    I feel terrible--like I am deserting my classroom and my brand new career, but I know this is the right choice.
     
  28. Lovelabs

    Lovelabs Comrade

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    So sorry you had to go through this. Good luck!
     
  29. kburen

    kburen Cohort

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    I live in VA...Lived here my whole life. Depends on which area you work in and where you live. I have a 2 bedroom apartment that I'm paying $685 a month for, plus utilities....And I'm making $33,800 a year. If I were to live in another county *especially the Richmond area* I could be paying anywhere from $700-$900 or even more for the same size apartment that I'm living in now. I love where I am, *Dinwiddie County*. I've lived in Chesterfield my whole life, which isn't far from where I am now *In fact I'm 10 minutes from my parents house*. Some areas of Chesterfield are decent priced housing, where as some are sky high. Just have to call around or look around online.
     
  30. JAMIE

    JAMIE Rookie

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    i'm not teaching yet but i would imagine it would be hard for you to ever work for that district again (if you needed to go back there or whatever) since you broke a contract. i knew someone out here that was going through the same thing. also like someone here mentioned, you will probably need a letter of reference from teaching...... but yeah if you were out for medical reasons, i dont think you would have to worry about anything.
     
  31. rocko

    rocko New Member

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    I live in Ma.and am trying to get out of my contract for 2005 2006. Does anybody have advice on how to do this.
     
  32. MorahMe

    MorahMe Habitué

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    Wow! Reading these posts really helped me! I just left a job last week after the school administration refused to remove a violent child from my classroom. (Other students were going home and complaining to a social services agency in my community about scratch marks from this child.) I finally told the principal that if the child wasn't removed from the classroom, even to the school office if necessary, by the next day (after she threw chairs across the room because someone looked at her), I was leaving. The respose I got was "If you don't like the policy, leave. We won't stop you." So I left. My former assistant was asked to take on the job as teacher, and she told the school board that if they were going to leave the child in the room, the she needed a shadow. So far, they aren't getting it for her, and it looks like she may also walk out! I felt very guilty until I read the posts here. Thanks everyone for being supportive of all teachers in trouble!
     

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