Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Quitting a Teaching Job

Updated 2 February 2015

Sometimes things don't turn out according to plan and you come to a point when you want to quit your job. Forbes has written about the top 5 reasons employees quit in 2013: stability, compensation, respect, health benefits, and work-life balance. However, before quitting, there are a couple things you should consider. Research says that between 40-50% of teachers will leave the classroom within their first 5 years of teaching.


Things to Think About
If you've just started your job, give it a chance and wait a bit. It can take time to get used to a new boss, new country, and new way of doing things. If you're near the end of your contract, it might be worth your while to finish the contract, especially if you get a completion bonuses, airfare, or other perks.

You might want to talk to your co-workers or boss and tell them how you're feeling. They might be able to give you suggestions on how to get used to the school or help you with any problems you might have.

Time to Leave?
However, sometimes circumstances make it impossible to finish a contract. You might have a family emergency back home or your boss might have broken a lot of promises. If this is the case, you need to do some research before quitting.

If you plan on staying in country and want to get another job, find out what kind of paperwork you need in order to transfer your visa. You might need a release letter in order to get another job. You should also get a certificate of employment. It's not a reference letter per se, but it will state your name, job title, and dates you have worked. It should be on official letterhead and signed by your boss.

Legalities
Find out how many days in advance you need to give notice. Check your contract. Most employers state that you have to give 30 days notice. Make sure you give written notice. Make two copies, which both you and your boss sign. Keep one copy and give the other to your boss.

Ask about housing as well. You should be able to stay in the housing until you leave. Some employers will try to make you leave early or will move the new teacher in with you. Let them know that that's not acceptable.

Get what's due to you as far as benefits and money go. Some places will give you half your airfare if you stay at least 6 months. Others will pay you for unused vacation days. Each place is different, so check your contract.


Moving On
Lastly, don't bad mouth the school. It can be easy to rant and rave and say how horrible your boss was. Don't do it. Whether at an interview or on a forum, be careful what you say. Keep it simple and say something like you and your boss didn't agree on things or promises weren't kept. There's no need to go into detail.

Remember, if you quit it's not the end of the world. Most employers are good, but there are some unscrupulous ones out there. If you didn't do a lot of research before accepting this job, try to do more when you accept your next job. If you did lots of research but things simply didn't go according to plan that's ok, it happens to everyone. Remember to keep your chin up and next time you should be able to find a better job.

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