A Florida social studies teacher has had enough of what the classroom has become after a 20-year career in what he calls a “toxic” profession.
In a social media post, Jonathan Carroll, a teacher at South Lake High School in Groveland, compiled a brutally honest list of things that impacted his decision to leave a profession that he once loved.
“I am leaving the field of education. I have had so many wonderful memories. But it has become a toxic profession,” Carroll began in his post.
So I guess this is it. I have made a decision with the support of my wife TeamDana Carroll and family. I am leaving the…
The 46-year-old teacher once believed he would be “opening minds, debating history, inspiring the next generation to reach higher and learn from the past,” but instead he said “education has become something else.”
“I think of all the things I did not sign up for,” Carroll wrote, listing out his grievances, “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.”
“We have testing coordinators at each school. Being told that if a student fails it is my fault not their fault. I am tired. 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 added.
But two months ago, the father-of-two said he started to feel disillusioned by the state of his profession, where teachers across the country held strikes against overcrowded classrooms and low wages. He said his other grievances about his profession include: overly-digitized classrooms, high-stakes test scores, burnt out students, and a yearly salary of $48,000, according to the news website.
“So I guess this is it… I am leaving the field of education. I have had so many wonderful memories. But it has become…
He explained to the news website that educators are now trained to deal with an active shooter situation where they learn how to hide children in designated areas in the classroom, practice running drills, and follow a “Run, hide, and fight” if needed. But he said teaching is not law enforcement.
“It’s a direct response to Stoneman Douglas High School,” Carroll said, referring to the mass shooting at another Florida high school last year that claimed the lives of 17 people. The Florida House of Representatives also passed a bill on May 1 that allows teachers to carry guns in the classrooms in response to that incident, reported Reuters.
Moreover, Carroll said standardized testing is making students burn out and teachers anxious about whether the student’s scores would impact their employment.
“Lots of districts only care about school-wide growth. So children are pressured to succeed without factoring in their personal development,” Carroll told Yahoo Lifestyle.
The teacher has received a lot of support from other teachers and social media users after making his post.
“So awesome!!! As a Teacher of 19 years I feel ya!!! Seriously considering walking away from teaching in its entirety! Flipping burgers sounds amazing at this point! Your reflection just may have just what I needed to make a real change in my life! Thank you Sir for your sincerity and your boldness!!!” one teacher wrote.
“Your words are soooooo true and I am struggling with this too! Just gotta find a way to pay the rent- but I’m not happy,” another teacher wrote.
“Well said. You have articulated what many of us feel and go through daily. It is demoralizing to be a cog in this Orwellian system. You are brave and your leaving the profession is a loss. Many are doing the same,” another wrote.
Carroll said after retiring, he plans to stay at home for a while and take care of his two children, while his wife, Dana, a nurse, will support the family in the meantime, reported Yahoo Lifestyle.
“I am going to stay home for a while (thank you Dana) and start a new chapter. Honestly, I’ll break even if I become a bankteller with no experience. But the truth is I will not miss what education has become,” he said.
“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 added.