Not sure when to start transitioning out of the classroom? Here is a what you need to know about creating a teacher career transition timeline.

“If my teaching contract expires in June, exactly when should I start applying? If I interview in May and they aren’t able to hold the new position until my contract expires, should I leave mid-year?”

Networking is always a great thing to start ASAP. I recommend warm networking ASAP, cold networking within 3-6 months of transition, and then follow up on those networking connections very thoroughly 2-3 months out. Connections are usually able to help you work things out for your start date to be at the right time. 

Applying is a little different story. The average job takes at least 6-8 weeks from first interview to start date. I would start applying heavily 2 months out from the end of a contract. That being said, have your game plan ready so that you can really hit it hard. Know the companies and position types you want to target, have alerts set up, resume ready, etc. To help you gain confidence in your qualifications, I recommend you learn what transferable skills teachers have.

The interviewing process typically takes a couple of weeks, and most places will wait 2-3 weeks for you to start (a professional notice is 2 weeks). VERY rarely will they wait longer than 3 weeks, though. It’s important that you come across as a solution seeker, though, so when discussing availability or start date, you need to have a plan.“Ideally, my start date would be June 13 so that I can finish the school year, but if that’s going to hinder my candidacy for this position, I am happy to work something out.” ……The plan may be that you save your PTO days for the last week or two of school and find a sub so that you’re technically finishing your contract.

Making Negotiations

It may be that you negotiate to teach half days for the last week or two and train in your new position half days. Or, split the week and teach a couple of days and train a couple of days. That way you can start your new position and still finish your contract. Most (new) employers should understand and be willing to work with you. Honestly, they will admire your commitment, desire to fulfill your obligations, leave on good terms, and your problem solving abilities!

*There are always extenuating circumstances that exist for certain companies, so this may not be a solution for every company.* 

Worried about retirement or benefits? The state positions for teachers may be a good bet for you.

What should come next?

I want you to look at your calendar for next year. If you are planning on leaving by the end of this school year, when will you start applying?

1. Have you identified 3 positions that you’d be interested in applying to?

2. Have you created 3 resume versions using best practices to ensure that you get noticed when applying?

3. Have you networked to pinpoint what skills or certifications are needed to learn ASAP? And which ones are “nice to haves”?

If you’re ready to jump and get all of my resources immediately, join The Teacher Career Coach Course today. Check out the Teacher Career Coach reviews to hear what other teachers are saying about this course.