Most teachers are employed on an annual contract basis. In order to be sure you’re fully protected, it’s important to create your own employment contract that clearly states the date of hire, salary and benefits, start and end dates, probation period (if applicable), etc. 

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk

When you create your own teacher employment contract, make sure to include these 10 important points below.

1). Number of hours

The number of hours per week that you (or your teachers) are expected to work should be outlined in your employment contract. 

In a classroom environment, teachers may also be required to attend events outside of school hours such as parent-teacher meetings, and it is important that these extra hours are included in your contract.

2). Classroom requirements

Obviously, it goes without saying that your employer wants you to have at least a bachelor’s degree in education, as well as current state teaching certification. 

If you’re going into private tutoring – which can be just as lucrative – an advanced degree isn’t always necessary, though it doesn’t hurt.

3). Professional Development Opportunities

When hiring a new teacher, think about how you can provide them with valuable professional development opportunities that support their growth as an educator. 

Professional development is a great way to get new teachers involved in their school’s faculty and community.

4). Communication Methods with Parents and Students

Make sure your contract includes how you’ll communicate with parents and students outside of class, too. 

For example, will students be expected to send in homework or take notes during lectures? 

Will you check for understanding in class by walking around or requiring questions at certain times? 

How will students submit assignments, what information are they required to include, and when should they turn it in (and how should they submit it)? 

Will any part of your grading be based on participation or attendance?

5). Non-Negotiable Behavior Expectations

As an educator, you understand how important it is to establish classroom rules and expectations. 

But when it comes time for a formal teacher employment contract, you can’t just say Be on time

Instead, make clear that lateness will not be tolerated. Be specific about consequences (so your teacher knows exactly what actions are taken) should he show up late on a day-to-day basis.

6). Grading Criteria

Grading criteria is an important part of your employment contract, especially if you are a public-school teacher. 

Grading requirements vary by state and even district, so it’s important to understand what your state or district requires. 

In many cases, students are allowed a certain number of days per grading period before they lose points on their report card for missing assignments or having incomplete work.

7). Parental Visits and Teaching Assistants

One of your first considerations should be whether or not you’re willing to allow parents into your classroom. 

At one time, most states required teachers and schools to accept visits from parents. 

Nowadays, however, many states have laws that prevent these laws from being enforced and prohibit school officials from telling parents they cannot visit a classroom.

8). Substitute Teachers Section

Substitute teachers don’t always enjoy job security. An employment contract can help them feel more secure and get paid better for their services. 

A good substitute teacher contract specifies a length of time for which services will be rendered, as well as what a substitute is expected to do during that time period.

9). Professional Growth Opportunities

When you know there’s a possibility of moving up, it’s easier to work hard. It also gives you inan centive to invest your time in skills and abilities that will help you get promoted within your current position. 

Teachers may not have many opportunities for advancement within their own classroom; working with certain community organizations or tutoring students outside of school can help provide professional growth.

10). Job Security

In a perfect world, all teachers would have permanent, full-time jobs with complete job security and great benefits. 

But that’s not always possible, especially during times of tight budgeting. 

To protect yourself from losing your job or being forced into an undesirable position, include language in your contract about what happens if you are laid off or demoted. 

If you know ahead of time that you may be let go at some point in your career, ask for a severance package to help soften the blow. 

Also, make sure your contract includes language regarding tenure; generally speaking, tenure is awarded after three years on staff as long as performance evaluations are satisfactory.