I work for a private Jr/Sr High school and my contract will be up at the end of March. This is my first year to complete a contract with them.
About three weeks ago, they asked me to stick around for another year and also to become a homeroom teacher. Seeing as this would be a good opportunity, I agreed. This was a verbal agreement and I still haven't actually signed anything.
This was all fine and dandy, but just a week ago, I found out that I've been accepted to join the Peace Corps as a volunteer which would leave on July 1st of this year. Weighing the two options, I decided that I've had enough of Japan and would like to travel elsewhere for some different experiences.
Now, my question: if I were to give my current school a two weeks written notice soon, would that be a legal way to quit at this point? The school is setting me up to take on some heavy-duty responsibilities from April, and they are gonna be extremely PO'd that I'm not gonna follow through with my end of the bargain, but how legally-binding is my verbal agreement when I haven't signed anything yet? Would a two-week written notice even be a requirement cause my contract is gonna expire soon anyway? Of course, I don't want to be a douche-bag and give them no notice, but I'm just wondering what my legal standings are at this point.
I'm afraid that they are gonna claim some financial damage for giving them such a short notice after already verbally agreeing to stick around for another year. I think that they are already applying for my new teaching license, which I hear costs them a pretty penny.
Now, my other option would be to continue working and then give them a notice around May, but that seems like it would be far less responsible then just quitting now. Quitting right at the start of new school year with a newly established position would be an extremely unprofessional move, but if I did this, I could give them over a month's notice, so I wonder if that would be more legal than giving them a short two-week notice now.
I don't think there is anything on my current contract stipulating required length of notice, but I wonder if it would matter either way being that it's almost over.
Any legal advice concerning this issue, and my best course of actions, would be really helpful. Thanks in advance.