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Why Did You Leave Your Last Teaching Job?

There may be many reasons why you left or are leaving your current teaching position. The trick is to make your departure sound positive and demonstrate why the new potential employer should be happy that you have left in hopes of obtaining this new exciting opportunity. Here are some basic general reasons of why you may no longer be with your past company: you got laid off, quit, or were fired.

Out of the above three, getting laid off is the easiest to explain. Lay offs are unfortunately a very common phenomena right now, and school districts can choose who they let go based on their own specific standards. Some let go of the most inexperienced teachers first, whereas others choose to lay off the highest paid teachers. When asked why you left your last job, simply explain that there were many cut backs, and you were one of the individuals who was let go. However, you did not get discouraged, but instead took this as an opportunity to seek a more fulfilling teaching job with an outstanding school district.

What if you just quit your teaching job? There are many reasons why a teachers quits his or her job, for instance you:

  • had different ideals than the principal
  • did not get the desired support
  • were tired of teaching the same subject
  • were looking for something more rewarding
  • were looking for a position closer to home

If you were passed over for a promotion or were turned down for a raise, do not tell the hiring person this. If you do, a plethora of negative traits spring to mind: impatient, high maintenance, immature, uncompromising, etc. If you feel that the past school district acts differently than your beliefs, simply state that you felt there was not an adequate melding of the minds.

Whatever the reason, make sure that you put a positive spin on it. Using the line of “I am looking for something that is a little more challenging and rewarding, and I think your school district would be the perfect fit for my life goals”, is always a good idea. By including the term “life goals”, the potential employer knows that you are looking to stay with the school district for a longer amount of time.

What if you got fired? If the interviewer performs a reference check of your past position, he/she will find out for him/herself that you were fired. However, organizations are supposed to ask for your permission to contact your references. Simply do not put your past supervisor on your reference sheet, and if they ask why, state that you left because both parties thought it would be better if you went your separate ways.

Regardless of the reason for leaving your old teaching job and seeking a new one, practice your explanation before the interview! This goes for all other portions of the teaching interview as well. Practice, practice, practice!

Candace Davies is the author and owner of A+ Resumes for Teachers  (http://resumes-for-teachers.com) which has been in operation for over 8 years. Candace is a Resume Writing and Interview Coach Strategist that is dedicated to assisting teachers, administrators, corporate trainers and other professions within the education sector.

Don’t miss her two highly acclaimed interview e-books:

A+ Teachers' Interview Edge.
101 Teachers' Interview Questions and potential Answers


A+ Principals' Interview Edge
101 Principals' Interview Questions and potential Answers

 Candace and her team partner with teachers and administrators worldwide to create job search documents and provide interview and job search coaching to leverage their strengths, accomplishments, and unique selling points to capture their dream career. Candace is a Dually Certified Resume Writer, Certified Interview Coach, Certified Employment Interview Professional, and an Associate Certified Career Coach.




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