Posted May 20/09
Dear ISR: I am an American teacher working in X– (withheld for privacy). I am under contract for next year and I signed this contract over six months ago. But many things have changed since then – not the least, my nervous system and ability to overlook headlines like “X–, One of the Most Dangerous Countries in the World”.
I love my job and truly want to stay, but I have this nagging idea in my head that says, if something big happens and the school closes, people will say, “Well, surely you knew that was coming. Why didn’t you prepare for it?”
When I tried to prepare for the school closing by sending my resume and cover letter out — explicitly stating that I am under contract, but would like to be considered ‘in the event’ something happens, I have been replied to with, “You better not do anything dangerous – like break contract” (from recruitment officials) , and “I can’t touch you as long as you are under contract” (from administrators of schools).
So, my question becomes, at what point do circumstances override contracts? And, who decides when circumstances are such that a teacher should be able to break a contract without being blackballed for it?
Please don’t use my name as this is a sore subject in these parts.
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