Best Way to Quit a Teaching Job

Teaching isn’t the dream job for everyone who decides to give it a try. Although official figures are rather varied, general research in the field suggests that between 40 per cent and 60 per cent of teachers leave the profession within the first three years. This includes student teachers and NQTs. Some studies go so far as to claim that more than one in three leave within their first five years, often citing workload pressures, stress and long working hours as reasons for their departure.

Although the British government has tried multiple incentives to encourage graduates to join the teaching profession, if the figures are to be believed, many newly qualified teachers would prefer working in a call centre to a school!

Be aware: everyone gets dissatisfied or disappointed with their job sometimes. Making the decision to leave the pro­fession is not something you should do hastily. Give yourself the time to think things through properly and draw up a list of personal pros and cons. It might be better to consider a change of school rather than leaving the profession entirely.

Quitting Teaching Job Best Way to Quit a Teaching Job

If you do decide to leave your current position, bear in mind that you will need to give plenty of notice – usually a full half term. For example, if you wish to leave at Christmas, you must have handed in your notice by the end of October. This will give your employer plenty of time to find someone to replace you, and your classes are not dis­rupted by suddenly having a new teacher halfway through a term.

In some situations, the school may decide to let you leave early. This may be the case if you are obviously unhappy in your position: it is more beneficial for the school to find a teacher who isn’t a nervous, emotional wreck!

Any teacher who is contemplating leaving the profession should contact their union for advice and support. Your union representative will not try to change your mind, but they will go over all the possible options for you. If you are an NQT it is advisable to complete your induction year, or at the very least a full term, in case you decide to return to teaching after a break. If you are a student teacher, you may wish to take a short break (up to four terms) between achieving QTS and beginning your induction.

All NQTs are expected to complete their induction within five years, although this does not have to be in consecutive terms. If you are finding your induction year a struggle, you might find it better to tackle each term in stages, or even at different schools. You can teach in private schools, as a private tutor or overseas without ever having to complete your induction period.

Teaching can get very tough, but it is also incredibly rewarding. Always make sure you put any problems in perspective – you made it through your training year and passed your QTS tests, not to mention survived on a student teacher’s salary for nine months: you are proba­bly a lot stronger than you think!

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