Teacher Resignation Letter: Examples And Tips

By Chris Kolmar - Nov. 23, 2020

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Whether you’ve been at your teaching job for ten years or ten weeks, there will probably come a time when you need to leave it.

Quitting your job might bring you joy, grief, or a little bit of both, but whatever you feel, it’s important you exit without burning any bridges, especially if you’re leaving soon after you started.

After you’ve talked to your principal or any other administrators about your decision, you’ll need to write an official letter of resignation. You might also need to write a letter to your students’ parents to let them know that you’ll be leaving but check with your supervisor before you do so.

What to Include in a Teacher Resignation Letter

First of all, it’s important to note that the letter of resignation you send to your school officials will be different from what you send to your students’ parents (if you choose to do this).

The letter that you send to your administrators will be pretty formal and vague. There are some crucial details that you should include, though.

  1. State your last day of employment. A resignation letter is a document that will go into your permanent file and serve as a record about when you left the school. It’s also to make sure that you and your superiors are on the same page about your departure.

    As a result, you need to clearly state your last date of employment in your letter of resignation. As you choose this date, make sure you check your contract to see how much notice you need to provide, and if you can, consider choosing a date that will allow the transition to go the most smoothly.

  2. Include your job title. This may feel unnecessary, especially if you’ve already talked with your administrators about your leaving, but it’s essential to include this information in your letter.

    Since this document will serve as a permanent record, being as clear as possible about which position you’re leaving will help mitigate any and all confusion.

    If you’re willing and able to, you might even want to include your personal contact information to allow school administrators to get ahold of you in case they have questions during the transition.

  3. Add a thank you or other positive note. A resignation letter should be brief, but it’s always a good idea to include some kind of positive note about your time at the organization.

    Even if you hated your job and have nothing good to say about the administration, you can still thank them for hiring you and giving you the opportunity to teach.

    Job type you want
    Full Time
    Part Time
    Internship
    Temporary

    If you enjoyed your time in your position, consider adding something more specific that you learned or appreciated from the school’s leadership.

    Just remember, this isn’t the time to rant about everything you hated about working there. You can do that in an exit interview if you so desire. A resignation letter is a time to stay positive and upbeat to avoid burning any bridges because you might need to ask for a reference down the road.

  4. Offer to help with the transition. If you’re able to, offering to help train your replacement will go a long way toward leaving on a positive note.

    If you can’t feasibly do this, you can just leave it at a simple, “Please let me know what I can do to help during this transition.”

You may not need to write a letter to your students’ parents at all, especially if you’re leaving at the end of a school year, but if you do, you’ll want this letter to sound much more casual and conversational than the one you wrote to your school administrators. You also might want to add some additional details to help quell any confusion or frustration.

  1. Speak positively about your experience teaching their kids. It’s just as important to avoid burning bridges with your students’ parents as it is with your administrators.

    Not only will leaving gracefully reflect well on you, but it will also reflect well on your school. Your superiors will appreciate this, which means those bridges will also be kept intact.

  2. Point out the exciting aspects of this change for their children. If you know who will be replacing you, introduce and speak highly of them and how excited you are that your students get to experience being in this person’s class.

    If you don’t know who will be taking over for you, try to find other ways to express how excited you are for your students and the good things that will come from this transition.

  3. Open your door to any questions. If you’re comfortable with it, it’s usually a good idea to provide an opportunity for parents to have their questions answered.

    Whether you do this by including your contact information and inviting them to reach out to you or by organizing parent-teacher meetings, giving them a way to express their concerns will help the transition go much more smoothly.

How To Write a Resignation Letter

When it comes down to actually writing your resignation letter to give to your school administrators, here are some steps you should follow:

  1. Figure out who to address your letter to. This will probably be your principal or some other administrator, but you should check to make sure. Your employee handbook might include this information, or you can ask when you talk to your principal in person about resigning.

  2. Open with a formal salutation. Whether you’re planning to print out a copy of your letter or send it in an email, you don’t want to start out with a “Hi” or even a “Hello.” Instead, stick to “Dear,” followed by the recipient’s full name or honorary designation and last name.

    For example, your salutation might be something like, “Dear Principal Goldblum,” “Dear Ms. Mayne,” or “Dear School Board Members.”

  3. Get to the point. The first line of your letter should state its purpose. Say something like, “I’m writing to inform you that I will be leaving my position as Kindergarten teacher, effective April 23, 2020.”

    This usually shouldn’t be the first time the recipient hears that you’re leaving, so you don’t need to be as gentle or warm as you would be if you were breaking the news to them.

  4. Decide whether or not to include an explanation for your departure. This is by no means required, and if you think it’s going to get too messy and complicated, leave it out entirely.

    Sometimes people like to include a reason for leaving if it’s out of their control, and they’d like to have a record that they left on good terms and would’ve stayed if they could. Others prefer just to state that they’re leaving “for personal reasons” or share nothing at all.

    If you do choose to provide an explanation, keep it brief and general. Don’t go overboard about how you can’t stand the thought of leaving and don’t start in on all of the school’s poor practices that drove you to resign. Those conversations are best had in person.

  5. Express your thanks. This is where you put that note of gratitude that you heard about earlier. Tell them what you appreciated about your time working at the school and how you’re going to use the experience you gained there in the future.

    This isn’t the time to gush, but just because your message is professional doesn’t mean it can’t be heartfelt.

  6. Talk about the next steps. Close your letter by explaining what you’ll do before you leave. This may be finishing up the semester or catching up on grading so that your replacement can easily pick up where you left off.

    If you can, offer to help train your replacement or ask the letter recipient to let you know how you can help with the transition. Include your contact information, if appropriate.

  7. Close with an appropriate signoff. Close your message with “Sincerely” or “Thank you,” followed by your name. If you’re writing a hard copy letter, sign it by hand as well. If you’re sending an email, include your contact information as a part of your signature after your name.

If you’re writing a letter to your students’ parents, you should still include all of the above information, but you can be softer and more conversational. Because of this, your letter to them will likely be longer than the one you send to your administrators.

Teacher Resignation Letter Template

Here is a general template you can use for a letter you’re going to give to the school. This is a bare-bones template, so be sure to add in some additional information and personalize it as appropriate.

[Your Name]
[Your Work Address]

[Date You’re Sending the Letter]

[Recipient’s Name]
[Recipient’s Title]
[School/District Name]
[Recipient’s Work Address]

Dear [Insert Name],

Please accept my resignation from my position as [your job title]. My last day will be [date].

I have greatly enjoyed working at [school’s name]. I appreciate the opportunities you’ve given me to grow as a professional and for the support you’ve shown me during my time here.

Please let me know what I can do to help make the transition easier. Feel free to contact me at [phone number] or [email].
Sincerely,

[Your Signature]

[Your Typed Name]

While much stays the same between a hard copy of a letter and an email, here is an email template to show you the differences.

Subject: [Your Name] — Resignation

Dear [Insert Name],

Please accept my resignation from my position as [your job title]. My last day will be [date].

I have greatly enjoyed working at [school’s name]. I appreciate the opportunities you’ve given me to grow as a professional and for the support you’ve shown me during my time here.

Please let me know what I can do to help make the transition easier.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

[Your Phone Number]
[Your Email Address]

Teacher Resignation Letter Examples

Now that you know the general structure of a resignation letter, here are some examples so that you can see what yours will look like when it’s fully fleshed out.

Dora Harding
2222 S Western Ave.
Denver, CO 80105

May 3, 2020

Justin Krohn
Principal
Denver West Elementary School
2222 S Western Ave.
Denver, CO 80105

Dear Principal Krohn,

Please accept my resignation from my position as a first-grade teacher at Denver West Elementary. My last day will be May 31, 2020.

I’ve decided to pursue my desire of becoming a college professor, and I will be taking classes full time, which won’t allow me to continue working as a teacher.

I have greatly enjoyed working at Denver West. I appreciate the opportunities you’ve given me to grow as a professional and for the support you and the rest of the administrative team have given me during my time here. I feel I’ve grown in many ways as a teacher, and I know I’ll cherish the things I’ve learned and the relationships I’ve made here as I move forward.

As I work to finish out the school year with my students, I will be tying up loose ends in order to set up my replacement for success. Please let me know what else I can do to help make the transition easier, and feel free to contact me at 303-577-3299 or doraharding@gmail.com.

I wish you and the rest of Denver West Elementary continued success.

Sincerely,

Dora Harding [handwritten signature]

Dora Harding

Subject: Steve Holt – Resignation

Dear Ms. Williams,

I’m writing to let you know that I will be resigning from my position as an eighth-grade English teacher at Wichita Middle School, effective December 20, 2020.

My wife has accepted a job offer in Chicago, so we will be relocating there, making it necessary for me to resign from my position here.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to teach at Wichita Middle School. I’ve enjoyed working with you and the rest of the administrative team, as well as the other teachers. I learned so much from all of you about teaching methodology and how to connect with students on an individual basis. I know I will be taking those skills with me in my future endeavors.

I value all of the personal connections I’ve made here, and I hope to keep in touch.

I plan to train my replacement and will work to tie up loose ends to make the transition go as smoothly as possible. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to help during this time.

Thank you,

Steve Holt

333-222-4444
steveh@email.com

Resignation Letter Sample From Teacher to Parents

If you’re leaving in the middle of the year, it’s often a good idea to send a letter announcing your resignation to parents. Make sure you check with your administration before you do this, though, because they may want you to wait until they have a replacement ready or may not want you to do it all, especially if you’re leaving at the end of a semester.

Here is an example of what this letter may look like:

Ashley Holt
Westlake Elementary School
3333 E Lakeview Road
Westlake, AR 33333

October 14, 2020

Dear Parents,

I’m writing to let you know that I am, sadly, resigning from my position as a Kindergarten teacher at Westlake Elementary School. My last day will be November 1, 2020. I have received an offer for a position as a school administrator in St. Louis, which is where my parents live. Since I have two small children and having my parents nearby would be incredibly helpful, I decided to accept the position.

I will be replaced by Ms. Laney Smith. She has been teaching Kindergarten for eight years and comes with high recommendations. After just a few meetings with her, I have no doubt that your children will enjoy learning from her and that she will be a perfect fit for the job.

Next week, I will be contacting you to schedule a time to meet with Ms. Smith and myself so that you can get to know her. She will also begin assisting me in class during this time so that she and the students can start to connect and so that she can get a feel for the class culture. If you have any questions during this transition, please feel free to contact me at 333-222-4444 or ashleyh@email.com.

I have greatly enjoyed teaching your children, and I can’t thank you enough for giving me the opportunity to do so. I will miss working at Westlake and getting to see my students every day. Thank you for your support and encouragement throughout this semester, and I hope to stay in touch.

Sincerely,

Ashley Holt [handwritten signature]

Ashley Holt

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Chris Kolmar

Author

Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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