A Florida teacher has decided to leave the profession for good, citing the challenges of the job and a whole list of ‘things I did not sign up for’.
Jonathan Carroll, 46, from Groveland, Florida taught social studies at South Lake High School in Groveland, Florida as part of a career in education that began in 1999.
In a brutally honest Facebook post he tells of his reasons to leave a job that he has been involved with for the past 20 years.
Jonathan Carroll retired from his profession in a moving Facebook post
Carroll writes how had been teaching for 20 years but was unhappy at how the job changed
‘When I started teaching, I was excited to make an impact on children. I loved every minute of my job,’ the dad-of-two tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
But just two months ago, Carroll began feeling disillusioned by his job and started to jot down his grievances.
His frustrations and fears echo those of his counterparts across the country which have led to teachers striking against overcrowded classrooms and low wages in recent months.
Carroll is unhappy with a whole host of things – everything from overly-digitized classrooms, high-stakes test scores, burnt-out students, to his yearly salary of $48,000.
Carroll has decided to leave teaching once and for all, at the end of the month.
Carroll told how fe became frustrated with overcrowded classrooms and low wages. He is pictured here with wife, Dana
‘So I guess this is it….I am leaving the field of education. I have had so many wonderful memories. But it has become a toxic profession,’ Carroll wrote on Facebook.
He looks back at his two-decades long career with nostalgia. ‘Once believing I would spend my days opening minds, debating history, inspiring the next generation to reach higher and learn from the past. I think of all the things I did not sign up for….like micromanaging administrators, mental health counseling, blueprints with no freedom or flexibility (even though you can not enforce planning), not being considered an expert in my chosen field even though I have a graduate degree.
‘Students overdosing on drugs and collapsing in my classroom when they get back from the bathroom. Active shooter drills. Teachers being armed. Knowing where it is safe to hide in my classroom. Feeding and clothing my students. Buying my own supplies. Being told I should be thankful I have a job and to get over myself. I am tired of the constant testing…tired of everyone else knowing better and being chastised if I dare ask questions or challenge leadership. So this May, I am walking away…’ he writes.
Carroll told of his dedication to the role and how he would regularly spend money from his salary to help purchase items for his classroom including paper and pens
South Lake High School in Groveland, Florida, where Jonathan Carroll will work until this June
Carroll is correct that the very nature of the job has changed. On Wednesday, Florida’s House of Representatives ended up passing a bill that would allow teachers in classrooms to be armed.
The move is a direct response to the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida that saw 17 students killed.
In his posting Carroll tells how school supplies are also underfunded and that the $300 he is given each year to purchase pens and paper is used up extremely fast.
‘We burn through those pretty quickly so I use my salary to buy extras at the dollar store,’ he tells Yahoo. ‘One time the air conditioner in my teaching trailer broke so I spent $300 of my own money on a replacement A.C. until it was fixed. I store it in my garage for emergencies.’
There is also increased pressure on both students and teachers when it comes to test scores. Carroll suggests that standardized testing makes children burn out.
It also makes teachers anxious over whether their classroom scores will affect their jobs: ‘Children are pressured to succeed without factoring in their personal development,’ he says.
Now that he has finally made the decision to leave teaching, Carroll says he is enjoying it once again for the first time in years.
The dad-of-two is going to take some time off to decide what to do next with his life
‘The pressure is off, so I can teach history my own way,’ he tells Yahoo. ‘We’re doing cool projects and having fun.’
Carroll intends to be a stay-at-home dad for a little while after leaving his school.
‘Honestly, I’ll break even if I become a bank teller with no experience. But the truth is I will not miss what education has become. A soulless industrial education complex where admin cares more about the test scores than their faculty or students. I have loved teaching many of you. But it is time to ride into the sunset. Start enjoying life. And find happiness again,’ he writes in a Facebook farewell.
The posting has been well received by both teachers and students who have felt the impact of Carroll’s teachings.
‘You were one of the only teachers I felt actually cared about me how a teacher should. Thank you for making my junior year a much better experience, I couldn’t have made it out without you,’ wrote one student.
‘You’re the best teacher I had back in high school. Absolutely loved going to your class. I’m sorry your profession along with society by extension has changed for the worse. God bless you sir,’ said another in a glowing tribute.
‘I’m so blessed to have been one of your students. Thank you for all the knowledge & wisdom you’ve given to your students over the years. You are so much more than a teacher to all of us, you’re a role model & an inspiration. Thank you for everything you’ve done for your students & good luck in your future endeavors,’ wrote another in response to Carroll’s post.