I am a huge advocate for Mental Health, and in being so, if you need to leave a teaching position mid-year to better your mental health, I will be your personal “YES! Take the time for you!” cheerleader.
Why? Because I’ve done it. Twice, actually. Once when we moved to Texas and then a second time a few years ago due to my mental health.
I’m open about it. I have nothing to hide. Yes, I left mid-year, but I’ve also gotten jobs after leaving mid-year and gone on interviews that led to job offers.
That’s what this blog post is about: how to get a teaching job after leaving midyear… you know, getting another teaching job after leaving your previous school mid-year.
First, let’s talk about your resume.
- Don’t lie or hide that you left mid-year. Put your previous experience on your resume.
- Update your resume accordingly. Here are a few resume tips for teachers.
One question I get often is when it comes to references. “Do I use my last principal as a reference? What do I say if they ask to call my previous employer?”
- Putting your last admin as a reference is completely up to you and only you can make this decision based on your previous experience.
- But know that when HR calls to verify employment at your previous school, your previous employer cannot divulge any information past “Yes/No ____ did/did not work here.” They can’t speak ill of you, it’s the law.
- If you choose to not use your previous admin as a reference, or do not want HR to call your previous admin, make sure that you have a good answer and reasoning for why… but keep reading because there’s a certain way to word it.
When I left mid-year to move from PA to TX, I went on 3 interviews and attended a district hiring event before being hired. When I left mid-year due to my anxiety, I have since gone on 3 or 4 interviews and been in direct contact with district HR hiring personnel, been offered 2 and turned both down.
So what do I say when asked “Tell me about your previous work experience” or “why did you leave mid-year?”?
- I’m honest. I don’t lie about it and I don’t hide it.
- I never speak ill of any previous employer, admin or employee I worked with. This isn’t the time or place to hash out negative feelings or old wounds… and you won’t get the job if you do. It’s also very detrimental to your own mental health to hold onto these negative feelings.
And there may or may not be a second guiding question along the lines of “How do you feel you are able to handle your mental health now?” So be ready for that.
No matter what happens, you get the job or you don’t, just keep moving forward.
If you do get the job, congratulations! You’re going to do great things. Just remember to not fall back into old patterns of self care and don’t ignore your mental health.
If you don’t get the job, it’s okay! Keep trying. Keep applying to new jobs, go to job fairs, and maybe try to think outside of the traditional classroom teaching position. You have A LOT of options!
What suggestions or tips do you have for how to get a teaching job after leaving midyear?