What's the best way to tell school families I'm resigning?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by thetadpoleandthefish, Apr 27, 2017.

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Which way do you think is best?

  1. Plan A

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  2. Plan B

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  3. Plan C

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  4. Plan D

    100.0%
  1. thetadpoleandthefish

    thetadpoleandthefish New Member

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    Apr 27, 2017

    I'm the principal, teacher, and only staff member of a one room private school. I've worked there for four years, and have had half of my students for at least three of those. A few of them I've had all four. I'm the only teacher many of them have ever known, and because the school is so small, the families and I are pretty close. The nature of this type of school means that some parents become very invested in you as both a person as a teacher, and thus tend to take things very personally. I'm moving out of state to be closer to my family at the end of this school year. I have very good reasons - my grandparents are getting older and need help, I'm wearing myself out teaching 5 grades at once and wearing all those hats - but I have no idea how to break the news to my school families. I can't wait until the end of the school year, because they'll end up finding out from someone who does know (e.g. superintendent, new teacher from within the community, school board chair/pastor, school board members, etc.) and feel betrayed, so I plan on telling them sometime next week. It's going to be absolutely dreadful no matter how I play it, but here's my current dilemma:

    Do I tell the kids and then the parents, or the parents and then the kids?

    If I tell parents before the kids, they'll be prepared to handle their students' emotions and questions later on. They'll have had a little time to mourn and/or rage, and could (theoretically) focus on their kids better. However, there's no way to tell all the parents in person at once, and it runs the risk of the parents breaking the news to the kids themselves. I need to be the one to tell my students I'm leaving. If I tell students first and send a letter home that day, parents will be more blindsided and probably pretty upset that the information is coming from their children rather than me.

    With that in mind, here the most plausible ways I could break the news:

    Plan A: Tell the students at the end of the day Friday, and send letters home with them. When parents come to pick them up, break the news to them in person. Parents who don’t pick up can be notified via FB Messenger.
    Plan B: Tell the parents I think would care most about hearing it in person (i.e. view me as a friend/think we're a lot closer than we are) and those who have the most over-emotional students, one or two days before the news fully breaks. Then continue with Plan A.
    Plan C: Tell all the parents as I see them throughout the week, that way I nab them in person, but somehow make them keep quiet until I tell the kids on Friday.
    Plan D: Ask all parents who pick up to come into the classroom for an announcement after school on Friday, and break the news to them and the kids at the same time. Parents who aren’t there I can contact afterwards.

    Which do you think would be best? Which would you, as a parent, prefer? I've been struggling with this for two weeks, and the closer I get to the day I'll need to tell them, the more panic sets in. Any advice?

    Thanks!
     
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  3. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Apr 28, 2017

    D seems best given the closeness of the community - the other things would work better at a larger school, seems a bit too impersonal because of how close everyone is
     
  4. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Apr 28, 2017

    Id go for Plan D as well but I'd email or FB messenger prior to Friday asking if parents could come for a quick announcement so that you can get the message to most parents. It's going to sad no matter whom you inform first and it would be good that parents can support their kids when you break the news.
     
    otterpop likes this.
  5. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Apr 28, 2017

    I would also vote for D. As far as the other options, once you notify that first person, within minutes everyone in the school will know.
    I taught what was essentially a one room school-within-a-school for five years. It was a self contained SPED class K-5 and I was with the same kids for years. When I chose to leave, it was my assistant, not the parents or children who were most upset. It's been almost seven years since I moved for family reasons and my assistant has not spoken a word to me since I left.
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 29, 2017

    This
     
  7. thetadpoleandthefish

    thetadpoleandthefish New Member

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    May 9, 2017

    Update: Thank you for your help, everyone! I really appreciate it. That was the worst thing I've ever had to do in my entire life, but you were right - Plan D was the best way to go about it. Some of the kids took it hard and I was crying five sentences in, but in the end just about everyone was very understanding and supportive. I told them last Friday, and by today they were very casually discussing my moving and what my new classroom will be like. Thanks again for your advice!
     

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