After 20 years, a teacher decided it was time to quit his job in a very big way. He gave an extremely emotional and very public resignation, venting his frustrations and calling out the “toxic profession” — all while taking aim at issues many parents have had with our public school systems.
Jonathan Carroll has been a teacher and an integral part of the education system in Lake County, Florida. But after two decades, he finally decided enough is enough. Fed-up with drugs, shootings, and around-the-clock testing, pushing him over the edge, he said “I quit!” but not without sharing his frustrations with the rest of the world.
“So I guess this is it,” Mr. Carroll began in a public Facebook post, explaining his resignation. With the support of his wife Dana and his family, Mr. Carroll unapologetically declared, “I am leaving the field of education.” And, although he has “had so many wonderful memories,” he was compelled to vent about the virulent environment that our public classrooms have become, which was the real purpose of his post.
Mr. Carroll thought that he would be “opening minds, debating history inspiring the next generation to reach higher and learn from the past” as a teacher but found himself doing something much different. “Education has become something else,” he explained. “It has become a toxic profession,” he wrote. “The truth is I will not miss what education has become.”
Calling it a “soulless industrial education complex where admin cares more about the test scores than their faculty or students,” Mr. Carroll, who taught social studies and worked in administration, said his frustrations aren’t with his district but rather the politicizing of education in general. “I am tired of the constant testing,” he said.
“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,” Mr. Carroll furthered. Even though his future plans were not clear, he knew it was time to “start a new chapter” in his life. “I am walking away,” he said.
“I don’t want to be under a microscope anymore. I want to have fun when I go to work,” Mr. Carroll said. “I know that sounds cliché, but I want to have a really good time,” Mr. Carroll added, and teaching had become anything but enjoyable.
“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,” Mr. Carroll wrote, listing many of the things he “did not sign up for” when he became a teacher.
School shootings, having to feed and clothe his students, buying his own supplies, and being told to be thankful he has a job and to get over himself were just a few of the other reasons Jonathan Carroll decided it was time to bring his teaching career to an end.
Wishing Mr. Carroll “the best in his future endeavors,” his district admitted, “Education has changed in many ways over the years.” Saying some changes are beyond their control as funding shrinks and demands grow, they added that their district is “working hard to recruit and retain the best educators out there.” But, that can’t be an easy feat, considering what Mr. Carroll experienced.
“I come home upset,” he admitted. “I don’t want that to affect my family and my future with my wife and my kids,” he added. “I have loved teaching many of you,” Jonathan Carroll wrote, addressing his previous students. “But it is time to ride into the sunset. Start enjoying life. And find happiness again.”