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Whether you’re leaving to pursue new opportunities, seeking a change of pace, or simply moving on to the next chapter of your life, a well-executed resignation is what most professionals strive for – sometimes with mixed results. Resigning with grace and professionalism is essential. Here are some tips and advice on the best way to go about it: 

Plan ahead

Before submitting your resignation, take the time to carefully consider your decision and plan your exit strategy. Reflect on your reasons for leaving and ensure that resigning is the right decision. Consider the timing of your resignation to minimise disruption to your students and colleagues and allow sufficient time for your school to find a suitable replacement. 

Inform your line manager

Once you’ve made the decision to resign, the first step is to inform your line manager or headteacher. Schedule a private meeting to discuss your decision in person, if possible. Be honest and transparent about your reasons for resigning but remain professional and avoid burning bridges. Express your gratitude for the opportunities and support you’ve received during your time at the school. 

Submit a formal resignation letter

Following your meeting with your line manager, formalise your resignation in writing. Keep your letter brief, clear, and professional. Include your intended last working day, offer to assist with the transition process, and express your appreciation for the opportunity to work at the school. Remember to keep a copy of your resignation letter for your records. 

Offer support during the transition

As you prepare to leave, offer to assist with the transition process to help ensure a smooth handover. This may include training your replacement, documenting important information and procedures, and providing guidance to your colleagues. By demonstrating your commitment to a seamless transition, you'll leave a positive impression and maintain good relationships with your colleagues. 

Maintain professionalism

Throughout the resignation process, it’s important to maintain professionalism and integrity. Avoid gossiping or speaking negatively about your colleagues or the school, as this can damage your reputation and reflect poorly on you. Instead, focus on finishing your duties to the best of your ability and leaving on a positive note. 

Stay connected

Even as you prepare to leave your current role, it’s important to stay connected with your colleagues and professional network. Exchange contact information with colleagues you wish to stay in touch with, and consider connecting with them on professional networking platforms such as LinkedIn. Building and maintaining relationships can open doors to future opportunities and collaborations. 

Reflect and learn

Take the time to reflect on your experiences and lessons learned during your time in your teaching role. Consider what you’ve achieved, the challenges overcome, and the skills you’ve developed. Use this reflection to inform your future career decisions and goals to help you continue to grow personally and professionally. 

Prepare for the next chapter

Consider setting clear goals and objectives for yourself. Whether you’re pursuing further education, exploring new career opportunities, or taking time off to recharge, a clear plan will help you stay focused and motivated. 

Looking to the future

Resigning is never easy. For one thing, no one likes to be the bearer of bad news, coupled with the knowledge that their departure will likely create more work for their department while a replacement is found. Many people find themselves worrying whether they’ve made the right decision and feel regret at the prospect of leaving, particularly if they have spent years in a job and know it inside out.

Such feelings are normal when about to set forth into the unknown but do highlight the importance of understanding why you want to leave before even starting your job search. If pay and conditions are an issue, find out what your options are. If it’s about workplace culture or development opportunities, speak up about the challenges you experience and how things might be improved. 

To help you navigate the tricky resignation process, please make use of our downloadable teacher resignation letter template, accessible below. This professional document covers all bases of the resignation succinctly, including reasons for leaving and the offer to assist with additional tasks to smooth the process for the school during your notice period.  

Remember to stay true to yourself, connected with your professional network, and ready to build on what you have learned in your current role. 

To find your next role in education or to hire new staff at your school, get in touch with your local Reed specialist.  

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