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How to Write a Resignation Letter for Teaching · TIPS & TEMPLATES

How to Write a Resignation Letter for Teaching · TIPS & TEMPLATES


Do you need to know how to write a resignation letter for teaching? You’ve had it with being a teacher. You’re done.

Maybe you’ll try another school or district, or perhaps you never want to be within fifty miles of a school again. Both are understandable.

However, you’ll need to write an official letter of resignation to turn in to HR to let them know you won’t be coming back to teaching. Depending on a few factors, this can be as simple or complex as you want it to be.

But it’s daunting. It often feels like if you don’t quit a teaching job the exact way they want you to, then your neck is on the line. Even if you check every box and tie up every loose end into a neat little bow, it STILL feels like they’ll hang you out to dry.

I’ve quit teaching. I know a lot of former teachers who have too. It is possible to write a seamless resignation letter that gets you out of teaching with your head still connected to your body

Let me show you how to write the perfect teacher resignation letter.

Every. Last. Beat.

A teacher's resignation letter with questionable corrections made to increase the impoliteness.
Maybe not like this…

Factor #1 to Consider Before Writing a Resignation Letter

Will you need a recommendation from anyone at this school?

If you might need a professional reference in the future, keep your letter short, respectful, and avoid dumping all the real reasons you want to quit teaching.

You are also supposed to give at least two weeks’ notice (or whatever is in your contract, which might be way longer than that). Moreover, it IS considered a courtesy to let your supervisor know in person before you send the letter.

So, if you can stomach letting the principal know in person that you’re leaving and waiting this out for at least two weeks, you want those weeks to be somewhat low-stress. Keep that in mind before you trauma dump in this letter.

An angry, male teacher screaming in anguish before resigning from his job.
It’s usually best to avoid this energy when sending a resignation letter.

This only matters if you will ever need to acknowledge that you worked at this place in the future and possibly need a recommendation from them.

What to Write in Your Resignation Letter to Secure that Teaching Reference

If this is the case, grit your teeth and try one of these openers:

  • This letter/email is to formally notify you that I am resigning from my position as _______ at _______ school. My last day will be two weeks from today on ________.
  • Please accept this letter as formal notification that I am resigning from my position as a _______ at _______ school. My last day will be _______.
  • I’m writing to give my formal notice that I’ll be leaving my role as _______ for _______ school district on _______ (date).
  • (Or, if you will leave at the end of the year, then use this: effective upon the completion of my contract for the 2024-2025 school year.)

Next, experts recommend thanking them for the opportunity they provided.

I am going to go ahead and assume you’re leaving your teaching job suddenly because this opportunity turned into a downright nightmare. But again, if you might need to reference this job in the future, consider this bit of BS next. (And honestly, there probably was at least something that you appreciate about the job, even if it was a few of the kids or coworkers. Try to focus on that.)

Here is an example:

  • Thank you so much for the opportunity to work here for the past _______ (amount of time). I’ve enjoyed getting to know _______ (someone? anyone?). I’m excited to take my experiences at _______ school with me as I pursue the next step of my career (or a career change).

Lastly, you are supposed to assure these people that you won’t be a total dumpster fire or make their lives miserable during the next two weeks.

Maybe try one of these:

  • I’ll do everything within my power to wrap up my duties and help any team members who will be taking over for me during the next two weeks. Please let me know if there’s anything else I can do to support this transition.
  • Please let me know if I can be of any assistance during this transition.
  • I will do what I can to ensure a smooth wrap-up of my duties.

Now choose a fake-ass closing:

  • Sincerely
  • Thank You
  • Thank you for your understanding

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Factor #2 to Consider Before Writing a Resignation Letter

You’re not trying to burn this bridge completely…

But you feel you have to take this opportunity to give a brief description of what went wrong for you and how they can improve things for the next teacher they rope into your position.

In this case, start with one of the respectful openers from above, and thank them for the opportunity to serve their students or community or something cute like that. Then transition to a brief, seemingly polite few comments on the trauma you endured while teaching that led to you writing this resignation letter.

A sad teacher with smudged mascara holding a drawing of a smile in front of her face.
Keep a brave face: you’re almost out.

Here are some examples:

  • One of my greatest concerns has been…
  • I am disappointed by…
  • Recent practices/policies such as _______ have left me deeply worried…

Now add the part about a smooth transition, and you’re done!

Here is an excellent example of a respectful and heartfelt teacher resignation letter that strikes a good balance between not throwing the school completely under the bus but still making some strong points:


“It is with a heavy heart that I write to formally tender my resignation from my position as a teacher and coach at _______ Public School, effective upon the completion of my contract for 2022-2023. Please accept this letter as my official notice.

Over the past 14 years, it has been both an honor and a privilege to be part of the esteemed educational community at _______. During my tenure, I have witnessed the dedication and hard work of my colleagues, as well as the boundless potential of our students. It is their growth and success that have always been at the core of my passion for teaching.

However, recent developments and practices within the school system have left me deeply disappointed and concerned. Despite my utmost efforts to advocate for positive change, I have witnessed a growing disregard for the well-being of our students and staff, especially those who identify as LGBTQ+. In addition, our school system’s administrators are allowing local politicians to inform their decisions to the detriment of their students and staff. These practices, in my opinion, do not align with the values I hold dear as an educator.

While my decision to resign has not been easy, it is driven by a sense of personal dignity and duty to protect the best interests of our students and the principles of fairness and justice. I firmly believe that education should foster an inclusive and equitable environment that empowers every student to reach their full potential. It is my intention, post-resignation, to continue my work to address these systematic issues and ensure a brighter future for all students.”

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Factor #3 to Consider Before Writing a Resignation Letter

Let’s burn this bridge, baby! I’m done!

If you vomited a little in your mouth when reading the suggestions above, then maybe you’ve grown to hate teaching altogether. (Or at least the tyrants that created this toxicity.)

You might just be ready to burn this bridge right down!

This means you’re sure you won’t need a reference from anyone in this school district, and you really need to let them know what’s on your mind. Just remember this: the longer and crazier it is, the less likely they are to read it.

If you just need to get it off your chest, by all means! But if you have some solid points you’re trying to make, consider keeping it short and not a total rant.

A picture of a burning building representing one angle for writing a teaching resignation letter.
Have you considered the nuclear option?

You can try saying something like…

“For the last several years, I’ve struggled to work in the best interests of all my students in the face of an administration that seems resolute in undermining teachers and working against the needs of the children, including:”

And then proceed with the reasons that are driving this resignation from teaching and deliciously spicy letter:

  • Repeated attempts to eliminate teachers’ state-mandated planning and preparation periods in favor of administrative meetings which waste valuable time that ought to be spent developing engaging lessons for the students.
  • The endless micromanagement of teachers and growing requirements of busy work that diminish our ability to address the needs of each student individually flexibly.
  • Lack of support for teachers in dealing with disruptive, violent, and otherwise inappropriate behaviors of some students, resulting in a loss of value for most of the class.
  • An unclear behavior management system. When teachers ask for an explanation of the “steps” they are supposed to follow when dealing with extreme behaviors, we are unable to get one. This specific issue has led to _______.

“There are some systematic issues concerning safety that are extremely concerning such as:”

  • Student behavior spiraling out of control (e.g. mental health issues, violence, vaping, swearing).
  • Students are often abusive to staff, and when reported, our reality is denied.
  • Substitutes and teaching aids are thrown into situations without support or direction on how to handle difficult students.

“There are many concerning things being done by the administration that I have witnessed during my tenure here, such as…”

  • Altering students’ grades
  • Lying about data
  • Manipulation of students’ Individual Education Plans

If you want to take aim at a particular administrator, here are some suggestions:

  • Unfortunately, I can no longer remain a highly effective teacher without an administrator to not only lead me but to support their staff. In the past, I have stood by and watched while _______ lied/refused to/allowed/ignored/refused/undermined _______
  • Instead of unification, they have created a division by…
  • Their lack of concern for staff and students is blatantly obvious in their refusal to lead by example and their continuous habit of passing responsibilities onto others.
  • They have allowed students to bully teachers and support staff without any repercussions.
  • They have failed to support the teachers in their attempts to improve and control behavior.
  • They support systemic issues of nepotism by promoting the well-connected, regardless of how poorly they perform or behave, instead of keeping and supporting those who are principled, competent, and visionary and whose work stands on its own merit.
  • Too many of the brightest and best faculty members have been sabotaged, let go, or bullied by the administration to drive them out of the profession and make room for the advancement of someone who is far less competent but far more compliant.
  • I find it nothing short of tragic that a handful of people in power continually, consistently, and predictably choose to take care of themselves and their own instead of looking to our collective future and delivering the best education possible to all of our children.
A GIF of Patrick from Spongebob Squarepants laughing evilly amongst raging fire.

Factor #4 to Consider Before Writing a Resignation Letter

Do you need some support?

Because support is available!

While writing a resignation letter and quitting a teaching position or the career as a whole can seem scary or even insurmountable, it IS possible. Many former teachers have moved on to other jobs and cemented highly successful careers! (Truthfully, you can make a hell of a lot more money by becoming an educational consultant.)

Daphne Gomez is one such example of this success. Former teacher extraordinaire, Daphne has built an entire career around helping other teachers leave the profession and move on to greener and more abundant pastures.

She’s even designed a step-by-step process to making this change for yourself: The Teacher Career Coach Course!

A CTA image banner for the Teacher Career Coach program for former teachers looking to start a new career.

Her mission is to help YOU succeed in your next season of life, and her course is that golden ticket. By signing up, you’ll be supported throughout the process with a collection of incredible resources. Resources designed to help you find a much less stressful and much higher-paying career choice.

The Teacher Career Coach Course will help you:

  • Determine what jobs are right for you
  • Network like a pro
  • Write an immaculate resume
  • Ace those interviews
  • And even provides access to a community of current and former teachers for encouragement, support, and advice on writing a resignation letter

If you’re serious about leaving a teaching job and there’s a little voice inside propelling you toward a career change as a whole, it might just be time to take that plunge. And there’s nobody you want to have your back more than The Teacher Career Coach.

Just check out the course and you’ll see what exactly I mean. :)

How to Write a Resignation Letter for Teaching: Final Tip

Think before you send it!!!

Overall, your resignation letter is really only meant to be a formal announcement of your intent to leave your teaching job and when you will do so.

Think carefully before you unload your feelings into this letter. Though I completely relate to this feeling – and you can find an excellent example of a much more heartfelt and less clinical resignation letter from a teacher here – it might not be the best way for you to action this.

(You might even want to consider writing a teaching resignation letter filled with your emotional download and send it to me to publish instead!)

Ultimately, if you’ve landed on this article, then likely you are at the point of seriously quitting teaching. And knowing how to write a resignation letter for teaching can feel like a Pandora’s box split wide pen.

The best advice I can give is to take a week for yourself. Give yourself some self-care, go for some walks, practice some mindfulness, and journal a bit. The answer will become clear if it hasn’t already.

If you need any more help or are just looking to write the most simple resignation letter for teaching possible, try this library of excellent templates to download.

Life is short. Think before you send. Don’t make any choices you’ll regret.

HOWEVER, that also means not sticking around for the abuse and misery anymore if it’s not serving you. Above all, never forget the most important thing-

A piece of green paper with the words "Trust Yourself" written on it - sage advice for writing a resignation letter for teaching.
And the answer will come.

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Jane Morris

Jane Morris is the pen name of an ex-teacher who would really like to tell you more about herself but is worried awful administrators will come after her for spilling their dirty little secrets. Jane has taught English for over 15 years in a major American city. She received her B.A. in English and Secondary Education from a well-known university and her M.A. in Writing and Literature from an even fancier (and more expensive) university. As a professional queen of commiseration turned published author, Jane’s foremost passion in life is to make people laugh through the tears.

She has written several highly acclaimed books unpacking the reality of teaching and life inside the school system. You can view her full library of works here.


Thursday 29th of February 2024

I stumbled on this post because I have been non-reelected. I would love it if you would address the portion of us who are leaving under duress. And I would just like to say that this post has been VERY useful, and I appreciate it. I have the feeling I will end up on this site a lot in the future. I like the vibe!