How do you tell your students you are leaving?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by MusicTeacher37, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. MusicTeacher37

    MusicTeacher37 New Member

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    Jan 29, 2015

    Hello all, I'm brand new here and registered specifically to get input on this from other teachers. It will be long so please bear with me, I really need some help.

    I am on my third and final year at the school I am currently at. I teach 6th through 12th grade band, choir and general music, as well as a study hall. I have known since the beginning of the year that I would not be back for a fourth year - I had been looking for other jobs since the end of my second year, and my administration was aware of that. I took a third year just because I could not get any other job interviews and chose to keep my job than become unemployed.

    I absolutely love my students but I am not happy at my current position and it has made me miserable, to the point of almost becoming depressed. On top of that I am in a long distance relationship that is getting more serious, and I want to move back to be closer to him. I am ready for a break from teaching and am going to be getting my master's degree in music education to take a couple years "off" before starting up again.

    My administration is supportive of my decision, as they know how much this position has stressed me. I just turned in my letter of resignation this week, and was informed by my principal that now I need to let my students know I will be leaving within the next month so that they can start going public with looking for a replacement.

    This is where my dilemma comes in - I thought I would be able to wait until the end of May, after the band and choir concerts, to tell my kids that I'm leaving. Now I have just three weeks to figure out what to tell them and when and how to do it. Anyone who has ever been in a band or choir or other performing/team group knows that the bond between students and to the teacher is usually stronger and different than that of a regular student/teacher relationship. I am so stressed about having to tell my kids and disappointing them. This music department has gone through a lot in the past few years, and I don't want these kids to think I'm giving up on them. Not to mention, once I tell them I feel like the rest of the year will not go quite as it would normally. There will probably be feelings of disappointment and anger and who knows, maybe some of them will begin to think that since I'm not going to be there next year they won't have to take things as seriously or put in as much effort. I just don't know what to expect.

    If anyone has any advice on what I should tell them or how I should do it I would truly appreciate it. Especially any band directors or music teachers. I have been having stress headaches all week and can't sleep it seems because all I can do is think of this. :(
     
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  3. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Jan 29, 2015

    I would simply tell them you are moving and will not be returning. I would absolutely not mention anything about being unhappy in the position.
     
  4. daisycakes

    daisycakes Companion

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    Jan 29, 2015

    I am also a music teacher and was in nearly the exact same position last year. I understand how letting kids know is especially difficult for us because, as music teachers (as opposed to math or science), we have kids several years in my row and they come to depend on us.

    I would tell them you are leaving to normalize it. I would say what you said...that you want a masters degree. I would not complain about the school because they are stuck there and they tend to feel like, if their school isn't good enough, it means they are not good enough.
     
  5. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Jan 30, 2015

    I'd be very casual about it and try not to make it a big deal. "Hey kids, just wanted to let you know that I'll be moving in June so I probably won't be back next year. Okay moving on..."

    Or go ahead and wait until May. If they hear, they hear.
     
  6. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jan 30, 2015

    Why did you put your resignation in so early?
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jan 30, 2015

    I recommend mentioning it casually only a couple of days before you plan to leave.
     
  8. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Jan 30, 2015

    I recommend mentioning it casually only a couple of days before you plan to leave.

    I would imagine that the district will be wanting to advertise for the new teacher, and we are rapidly approaching that time frame when graduating teachers will be swelling the ranks of the unemployed. The school obviously doesn't want the students to find out about the departure because someone saw an ad for the posting. It doesn't sound like this is a surprise decision to the OP or the administration. It shouldn't be left to come as a nasty surprise to the students who are close to the teacher. It may be uncomfortable to the OP, but it is a necessary step in moving on. Just my guess.
     

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