When is it too late to break a contract? UPDATE

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by blondie77, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. blondie77

    blondie77 Rookie

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    Aug 6, 2009

    Just out of curiosity, has anyone ever broken a contract to take a MUCH better paying job at the last minute? Is that just bad karma or what?

    NOTE: Thank you for the responses, but this was NOT for me! I actually know someone who just did this and is not on the forum. I was curious how that worked being so close to the new year. I fully plan on keeping my contract. :)
     
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  3. DaleJr88AmpFan

    DaleJr88AmpFan Cohort

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    Aug 6, 2009

    It all depends on the contract. My best advice would be to contact the Human Resources dept of your district to find out what the procedure is.

    I have never broken a contract but I do know that some people on here have. Perhaps they will have more information for you...
     
  4. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    If you have a contract with one district and you are offered one by another district in the same state, you need to be very careful. If the contract you signed requires 60 days notice, they will expect you to work those 60 days. The "new" district may not want to wait that long. Legally, your current district can hold you to whatever the contract you signed stipulates. In our district, it is 60 days prior to school starting, and after school starts, it is the entire year. If you leave early, they will put a hold on your teaching certification and you can't work anywhere in our state. (Now, if you have an extenuating circumstance -- spouse transfered, ill child, etc., they will often let you out of the contract with no penalty, but not to accept a job in a neighboring district.)
     
  5. Windy City

    Windy City Companion

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    Breaking a contract is usually bad all around. My district will charge you a huge penalty, and they don't accept payment plans if you know what I mean. Plus, every time you fill out an application from this point on, you will have to mark down that you broke a contract. That alone will follow you for the rest of your career and is a major red flag.

    If you think that you might stay in this better school for a long time, it might be worth it (hey, many of the teachers in my building have been in the same room for 25 years!).
     
  6. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    This close to school starting I wouldn't break my contract.
     
  7. kalli007

    kalli007 Companion

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    Is it another teaching job? Dont they have the right to hold your certification or something?
     
  8. MrsCheerio

    MrsCheerio Rookie

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    The other day an administrator on a job panel told us there is a "black list" in my state for teachers who break contracts. If they find out about you, you will not be hired again. I don't know if it's that way everywhere...
     
  9. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    Break a contract...

    In this day and age, be happy to HAVE a contract. I know this might sound snippy...but be a person of character and keep to your promise.
     
  10. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    blondie,
    Here is the question I'm going to pose to you. Suppose the district you signed a contract with came back to you at the last minute and said "You know, we found another candidate who will work for 20% less than you, and she has 5 years more experience than you do...so we aren't going to be keeping our word about hiring you. We are breaking your contract because it is in our best interest to do that. Good luck finding something else." Would you be happy? Would you think it was fair?

    When you signed that contract you were probably very relieved because you had a job. It meant that, barring some huge unforeseen disaster, the district had to follow through and let you teach and pay your salary. But when you signed it, you also were saying that, barring some huge unforeseen disaster, you would follow through and teach for them.

    Once you sign the contract, your job search has ended for that contract year.

    I'm not saying this to be mean -- I'm just trying to point out that they have lived up to their end of the contract. I think you would be livid if the only offer you got signed you up, and then dumped you at the last minute, leaving you in a terrible place. I would think carefully before doing this to a district. There are such a thing as blacklists. And even if you don't end up on one, there is such a thing as karma. What goes around, does eventually come around.
     
  11. fratermus

    fratermus Companion

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    Aug 7, 2009

    We ought to do the same thing with schools that hose teachers, but it's their market these days...
     
  12. fratermus

    fratermus Companion

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    Aug 7, 2009

    Happy about it? No.

    Surprised? Not at all.
     
  13. newbie23

    newbie23 Comrade

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    Aug 7, 2009

    I agree with RainStorm's points but also... it's your decision.

    As long as the person knows all of the ramifications of breaking their contract (both formal and implied) then it's really up to them.

    Is it a breach of etiquette? Yes, I'm sure Emily Post would discourage it. At this late date, the district has probably already invested some time/money/etc into you as their new teacher. Who knows, maybe parents have been informed that you will be the new teacher or your mentor may be gearing up to meet with you and then, Poof!

    But as others have said the school can and will find a replacement, maybe someone more qualified or better suited or perhaps as is more likely someone that they feel rushed to pick because of the timing of it all. This can affect the students positively or negatively throughout the year.

    However, if you're gung-ho on breaking a contract to move to the closer/better paying/higher performance district, then chances are you're going to carry an attitude with you whether your are aware of it or not if you stay in your first school. You'll probably be comparing the two, regretting your decision and spending time job-hunting in the spring. Your heart may always been in that classroom at the other district.

    Be aware though that schools talk. Principals meet often at conferences and whatever state you live in instantly becomes smaller when there's a teaching surplus as people often move around the state. My Supt. grew up in the next town over from me (2 hours away from the school) and went to the same college. My previous employer grew up in the school district I'm moving to. Even if your state doesn't revoke or suspend your license, people will know. Your name may appear on the school's website at some point and we all know that never goes away. You'll most likely have to list it on your resume as if your new school finds out about it later there could be disciplinary actions. Basically, you'll have a red letter on you for years to come, at least until you find a school willing to overlook the fact that you were once very unreliable.
     
  14. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    I would never break my contract. I could have done this when my hubby was transferred but chose to stick it out for many reasons. It never looks good when you break a contract. Best of luck to your friend. Things could work out in the end. Who knows? It sounds like he/she already made the decision so, I guess the point is moot.
     

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