Getting out of a Contract

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by SittinInATree, Sep 26, 2007.

  1. SittinInATree

    SittinInATree Companion

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    Sep 26, 2007

    I want to leave my teaching job because my old job (which was incredible!) wants me back at their next opening.

    But how do you leave in the middle of the school year when you have signed a contract?

    How do you get out of it?

    What should I say in my letter of resignation if I do leave?

    To be truthful, I am not happy where I am and it was a last minute switch to what I was hired for. If I was doing what I was hired for, I wouldn't be as motivated to leave. But I don't like where they put me (without asking me first) and I just don't know what to say to my principal if I do end up leaving.

    Any help you could provide would be very appreciated!

    P.S. I know many of you never found jobs and are probably peeved that I have a teaching job but am leaving it when you could have it and keep it and I totally understand! It is crappy but I don't like where they moved me and I would stay if they hadn't moved me! ;)
     
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  3. Windy City

    Windy City Companion

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    Sep 27, 2007

    Nothing can really stop you from breaking a contract, but there are undoubtedly going to be ramifications. You need to check your contract because it will spell out exactly what will happen. My district charges a 10% of salary penalty and you can be guaranteed that you will never, ever be hired back in any capacity and you will have ruined your chances for a reference.

    Breaking a contract can also have a devastating impact on any future job searches. At the end of every application that I have ever filled out, there is one little question that asks if you have ever done it. You have to be truthful because you don't want to know what would hapen if you weren't.

    If you are planning on going to that other school and staying there for a very, very long time, you can consider it. But please think about what this decision may cost you in the present and future.
     
  4. loman

    loman Rookie

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    Sep 27, 2007

    I know someone very well who did this.

    Read the contract thoroughly and find out how much notice you have to give, it is probably only 2 or 3 weeks.

    As noted, be advised that your current school is going to be pissed, will give you hell, and will attempt to derail and delay you at every turn. Get your union rep to help you and stick to your guns. In my friends case, the department pleaded for the teacher to stay, then threatened the person, then just became mean. Deliver a resignation letter and tell them you are not coming back in 2 or 3 weeks come hell or high water. Just never look back and you'll never get a reference.

    As noted, don't do this unless it is your dream job that you can not pass up. It will also help if you are in a high demand subject, so you just may still be employable after breaking a contract mid-year.

    Some people will give you hell for this, but you have to do what is best for you. Principals look after their schools first, department heads for their department first, you have to do what is best for you first.
     
  5. mstemple05

    mstemple05 Cohort

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    Sep 27, 2007

    Where are you located?

    I can only speak for charter schools (b/c that's the only place i've worked) but some say you can quit at any time and they can fire you at any time. Others say you have to give 30 days notice. I would think for the ones who don't mention it in the contract, you would probably just have to give the standard 2 weeks notice. But again, depends on where you are.

    What grade/subject are you teaching/leaving? And what grade/subject are you going to? Where did the current one move you to that you want to leave? If your contract is for one position and then they move you and you don't sign another contract, then according to my lawyer friend (who gave me advice on a similar get-out-of-contract situation) you aren't bound to it-because they changed the terms of agreement.

    But yea, like everyone else said, don't count on a reference.
     
  6. SittinInATree

    SittinInATree Companion

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    Sep 27, 2007

    Well I know they will be pissed but I don't see my principal getting mean. I think she will be pissed privately and disappointed publicly.

    Also, I am not leaving to go teach somewhere else. I am leaving to go back to non-profit and I would never want to teach again so trying to go back to that isn't a concern.

    My district never gave me a real contract to read. The only thing I signed was a one page paper showing my dates of work and pay. Nothing more! wierd...

    What should my resignation letter say?
     
  7. SittinInATree

    SittinInATree Companion

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    Sep 27, 2007

    MsTemple, we cross-posted!

    I was hired to be a resource teacher and then the day before school started all of a sudden I am a regular teacher in a grade I don't like.

    They didn't even give me the contract until a few weeks after school started and so I had already started my new position but the contract did not specify a position anyway.
     
  8. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Sep 27, 2007

    I know that I have given you some advice on this, but I'm not sure if you know my story. My mom died the summer before I started my first job. It was in a kindergarten classroom. I had student taught in kinder, but didn't get there until Oct. I had a lot of behavior problems that I didn't know how to handle. The admin was great! They let me go into another classroom to observe, they had someone come into help. But none of that really helped the situation. Granted, I did a long term sub for the same district, same school in as a reading specialist from March to the end of the school year and was picked up as a kinder teacher. I went to my principal to ask what my options were. She was very supportative of me, told me to take some to think about it, but in the end the decision was mine. When I told her my decision that I was leaving in December, she helped me write my letter of resignation. She completely understood where I was coming from and therefore, was very supporative of my leaving. I still put her on my resume. And I have never had to disclose that I opted out of a contract in the middle of the year on an application.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2007
  9. mstemple05

    mstemple05 Cohort

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    Sep 27, 2007

    o0o0o. Interesting.

    Well then just tell them you've found something else that suits you better. There are online resignation templates you can google for exact words.

    What grade/subject are you teaching? Maybe I can apply for it.. I'm having second thoughts about high school yet again..
     
  10. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Sep 27, 2007

    mstemple, it's not because of that one class period is it?
     
  11. mstemple05

    mstemple05 Cohort

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    Sep 27, 2007

    uuuuugggghhhh. i don't know. sometimes i just think that i should be teaching the basics. things that i KNOW i know. like the abc's, numbers, basic spelling words (that even my 11th graders still can't spell) etc.

    uuuuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhh
     
  12. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Sep 27, 2007

    It'll get better, mstemple! I know its easy for me to say!
     
  13. mstemple05

    mstemple05 Cohort

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    Sep 27, 2007

    lol. thanks. i appreciate the fact that you care so much. :hugs:

    sorry tree, i kinda :hijack: my apololgies.. :sorry:
     
  14. Katdog2434

    Katdog2434 Rookie

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    Sep 27, 2007

    NEED ADVICE

    I would also like some advice on this. I do not plan on teaching again and I made a HUGE mistake coming back this school year (after I vowed I wouldn't last year). I don't think I can stand to make it through another year. This is affecting me emotionally and my home life. I would like to give a couple of months notice. Would saying that we are moving work? We DO plan on moving, but in a year not in the next two months. I don't live in the town that I teach in and don't know many teachers that live where I do, nor do I ever bump into them on the street. Any advice? I do want to make it a smooth transition for the next teacher.
     
  15. mstemple05

    mstemple05 Cohort

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    Sep 27, 2007

    Even if you used that as your excuse and you did run into someone, you could always say something happened or things changed..

    PLAN A. if it fails, then PLAN B. does this mean i tell too many lies if i have a backup to your backup?
     
  16. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Sep 28, 2007

    If this had happened to me, I would be LIVID! I have both credentials to do either as well, but I don't think I'd ever want general ed.
     
  17. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 28, 2007

    Hi Kat, and welcome!

    Lying is not the way to get out of a contract. It's unprofessional, and you're bound to get caught.
     
  18. Katdog2434

    Katdog2434 Rookie

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    Sep 28, 2007

    MsTemple- thank you.
    Aliceacc- How else would you suggest getting out of a contract? In most jobs, just giving notice is sufficient. But in teaching, how do you leave? I think it is very professional to give plenty (1-2 months is plenty) of notice, and even MORE professional to work with the teacher taking over and ensuring a smooth transition. It is just a shame to have to lie in order to leave. I HATE lying, but it is like I am given no choice.
     
  19. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Sep 28, 2007

    Katdog, you have to write a letter of resignation to the school board stating why you are resigning. I agree with Alice and would not lie about why I was leaving. Be honest in your letter about your intentions of leaving. Talk to your principal about the possibility of working with the teacher taking over in order to get that smooth transition. If you lie about why you are leaving and a future employer calls the school district and finds out you lied, then they may not hire you.
     
  20. Katdog2434

    Katdog2434 Rookie

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    Sep 28, 2007

    Good point, smalltowngal.
     
  21. Lesley

    Lesley Habitué

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    Sep 28, 2007

    Talk to union if you have one and are a member. If not in union as a person who has been with the district for years. I had to leave mid year once because my hubby took a job in another state-not a problem with anyone and I have wonderful references from the district and they would hire me back. So every district is different.

    In my current district we have had teacher's leave mid (and at various times throughout) year. Yes, the district will not hire them again, but the teachers would never come back to that district anyway-fed up is what they were. Life goes on at any job when someone leaves.

    If you give ample notice keep the explanation short and sweet, they will have time to find a replacement,

    Did anyone tell you WHY you were switched? Did you ask?
    I would be rather upset if it were me and would say so to someone.
     
  22. SittinInATree

    SittinInATree Companion

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    Sep 28, 2007

    Hi everyone, thank you for your replies.

    Yes I was livid. The reason they did it is because the position was federally funded last year and this year they didn't get the funding. So instead of hiring another teacher and spend more money, they just move me over there.

    I wasn't really given a choice. They just said this is where you will be. Deal with it. They weren't very understanding about it and acted like it was no big deal. If I had some appreciation, it wouldn't be as bad. But the point is, I hate it and would like to go back to my old (non-teaching) job. Or even stay home and do a half-day preschool in my home.

    SmallTownGal, I am a little confused. You left mid-year because you were unhappy in your position? If so, your principal was VERY understanding!

    MsTemple, its okay. Sorry you are having a tough time too! I hope it gets better for you.

    And also for you, Kat. I know how you feel about wanting to lie. In the short-term, it seems easier because if you give an excuse that they can't fight you on (moving, etc) then it will be less pressure. But if you just say you are unhappy, then that is embarassing and they can get mad and try to get you to stay. But you could get caught.

    Let me know if you decide to leave and what you will say if you do. I am at a total loss.

    I don't want to be embarassed! I know the gossip will fly about me too. :(
     
  23. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Sep 28, 2007

    Sittin, I was unhappy in my position because of the depression over losing my mom. That's why the principal was understanding. It was my first year, a tough class, and depression. It didn't equal to a great experience! And it really hasn't been a concern when interviewing for other positions.
     

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