The importance of education, especially for the young, is paramount to the success of our society. Without teachers, who would teach children how to solve math problems or what the difference is between a noun and a verb? Teaching is a career which many consider due to a general love of helping others.
However, teachers tend to have a high incident of workplace injuries and illnesses. Some may ignore these injuries, leading to lasting problems. Here are three factors at schools that present the highest risk.
1. Student threats
One of the scariest things a teacher can face at work is a dangerous student. Over the past decade, violence by students has increased at an alarming rate. With the rise in student violence, teachers need to watch for signs that anger and impulse control problems exist and report them immediately.
2. Aging school facilities
The money required to improve buildings and school grounds exceeds what is in most school district budgets for the year. Aging schools have fallen into disrepair and present trip and fall hazards to teachers and students alike. Mold may also lurk in ceiling tiles and window seams due to storm damage and years of exposure to the elements. Injury and illness are likely to occur in areas where buildings need improvement.
3. Performance pressure
Many schools rely on standardized test scores for funding, thus increasing pressure to get students ready for these exams. With the climbing classroom sizes, more complex curricula and higher expectations, teachers may often feel overwhelmed. Top this off with a lower pay scale, and the pressure to perform a job under stressful conditions may lead to anxiety, insomnia and stress.
Teacher working conditions may result in physical and psychological injuries that require treatment. Giving educators the support they need is one way to ensure they continue playing such a vital role in the future of so many.