We mention it all the time, there are inherent risks in every profession. Furthermore, there are unique safety measures that need to be taken. However, today, we’re going to look at one profession in particular that comes with a unique set of risks… teaching. Teaching injuries can be brought on by a number of different circumstances. From unhealthy students, to slips and falls, a fight in the classroom, and even violent school invasions. In short, anything can happen. Therefore, you have to be prepared for what may come when you step into your classroom.
Teaching Injuries: Unexpected Classroom Accidents
Exposure to toxic materials
You might not think so, but a classroom can be quite the dangerous place. Take, for example, working in an old building. You know that your school building has been there since the ‘70s. Not to mention, you know that it has a certain smell. However, what you might not realize is that the strange smell is pointing to a bigger issue— mold. Toxic exposure in the classroom is not highly common. But, it can happen from time to time in a poorly maintained building. So, if you find yourself stationed in a classroom that has you worrying, ask an administrator to hire an inspector. Don’t add ‘treating teaching injuries’ to your long list of things to get accomplished.
Acts of violence
When you sign on to become a teacher, you have to acknowledge the inherent risk that comes along with it: acts of violence. According to the CDC, nearly 24% of students reported being in a physical fight on school property one or more times during a school year. Furthermore, the risk of school shootings is present now more than ever. Students getting into fights doesn’t always lead to teaching injuries. But, you are handling a dangerous task: breaking up the fight. Furthermore, school shootings are inherently rare— although we’ve seen more of them recently than in past years. However, if that time comes, you and your students are at risk of serious injury.
As a teacher, you have many roles to fall into on a daily basis. You are an educator, mentor, role model, babysitter, therapist, nurse, security guard, and a figurehead. You have to take on mental health in your students, make sure they have the resources they need, make sure they’re learning, and also watch for signs of abuse, hunger, neglect, and the like. In short, a teacher has the responsibility of 10-30 kids on a daily basis. You are a caretaker, and an educator. That is no small feat. Therefore, among all teaching injuries, work-induced stress is the most common one out there. You often face overcrowded classrooms, underfunded materials, a lack of support on part of administrators, and frustrated kids.
Teaching is not easy
In short, there’s nothing easy about being a teacher. From the beginning of your day, to the very end— you take on a number of different roles, all of which can be extremely stressful. Teaching injuries can be physical, mental, or emotional— and each one is quite difficult to face. We commend our educators, and encourage them to take a moment here and there for themselves.