Monday, April 17, 2017


This came to me while checking out Facebook today. UK's Daily Telegraph is reporting on a poll of teachers in England found that 83% of teachers say that the job has had a negative impact on their health in the last year.

83%? Even if it was a poll designed to get a certain response, that is a remarkably high figure.

From the article:

A new poll indicates that more than four-fifths of school staff (83 per cent) think that their job has had a negative impact on their health and wellbeing in the last 12 months.

Given a list of issues and symptoms they may have experienced, some 84 per cent of those polled by the NASUWT teaching union said that they have lost sleep due to their work, while three in four (54 per cent) have experienced anxiousness and a similar proportion (74 per cent) reported low energy levels.

More than a fifth (22 per cent) had been turning to alcohol more often, and the same percentage (22 per cent) said they had increased their caffeine intake.

Just under a fifth (19%) said they had lost their appetite and over one in 10 (11 per cent) said they had started to use, or increased their use, of anti-depressants.

Around nine per cent had had a relationship break down, while around seven per cent had started to take, or were taking more, prescription drugs.

These are disturbing results.

My guess is that if we polled New York's teachers the numbers would be similar because of what teaching has become in our schools. We are subjected to Danielson drive-by observations combined with test scores on tests that aren't designed to rate teachers being used to rate us. Or we are rotating Absent Teacher Reserves. Many of us are being judged by incompetent and/or viscious administrators and we have to put up with unruly students who in many cases are unwilling learners. It is a recipe for deteriorating health for teachers. Throw in a union that won't fight back in public and we are in real trouble.

Here is a major difference between England and New York. In their official response to the poll, England's Department of Education stated in part:

"Where staff are struggling, we trust headteachers to take action to tackle the causes of stress and ensure they have the support they need."

In New York, one of the main priorities of too many administrators seems to be to add to that stress.

How is the stress level of our readers? As we head back to school on Wednesday, we certainly are interested in hearing how you feel about the impact of the job on your health.


Anonymous said...

I've personally known several ATRs that died in big part because of the harassment they received. Many teachers I know are heavy drinkers and smokers; many more I know are obese and are a heart attack waiting to happen. I have a close friend that's a psychiatrist, he told me most of his patients are teachers and wouldn't survive without Xanax and Ambient. Glad I'm out of hell and retired.

Anonymous said...

Stressed? Who feels safe working in these neighborhoods, walking the streets from or to your car, the subway, the bus?

A wave of gun violence across all five boroughs left one man dead and five more wounded Easter Sunday.

In Brooklyn, a gun-toting killer shot Kester Anthony, 23, around the corner from his home on E 96th St. and Glenwood Road in Canarsie just before 9:30 p.m., police sources said.

The shooter fired, dropping Anthony to the ground, then walked up and pumped a second bullet into him, sources said.

At least one bullet struck the victim’s head, and he died at the scene, cops said. The shooter and three other men then ran off.

Anthony’s mother and brothers gathered as police investigated the area, just feet from where he lay dead, a white sheet over his body.

His mom sobbed uncontrollably, and at one point his distraught girlfriend sat on the street, wailing, “No he’s not! No, he’s not dead!”

Anthony’s relatives said he got into an argument before the shooting.

“If you’re going to fight, then fight, but why shoot him? Why kill him?” said his mother, who didn’t give her name.

“He was coming home. I was home with my grandkids. They were being so loud I didn't hear it happen,” she said.

Anthony’s death was one of five shootings across the city over a roughly five-hour span.

At about 4:50 p.m., a gunman in a gray hooded sweatshirt shot a 26-year-old man in the back in East Harlem, in the Park Deli on E. 110th St. and Park Ave., cops said. The victim is expected to survive the attack, cops said.

In Rosedale, Queens, a 26-year-old man was shot once in the right leg at North Conduit Ave. and Hook Creek Blvd. at about 5 p.m., cops said.

On Staten Island, two men were shot — one in the leg, the second in the stomach — on Broad St. near Gordon St. in Stapleton, at about 9 p.m. Both are expected to survive their wounds.

Finally, at about 9:50 p.m., a 21-year-old man was shot in the buttocks at Walton Ave. and Hawkstone St. in the Mount Eden neighborhood of the Bronx, cops said. His condition was unknown.

Anonymous said...

ah the atrs i have met seem to be enjoying that life more then i enjoy mine.
i only met one obese atr- and that prob helped him stay as ana atr

Anonymous said...

I wrote obese teachers, not ATRs. As former ATR, I can tell you there's nothing enjoyable about it. You seem miserable, good luck to you.

Anonymous said...

I have chronic insomnia and anxiety and I know it is mostly due to the stress of teaching. Been on Ambien for over 12 years. As the blog mentions, drive by observations and out of control kids are a toxic mess that feeds into being overly stressed out.

Anonymous said...

That guy in Cleveland who live streamed himself killing another black guy...Why no media uproar? It was an unarmed black male being shot to death. Is uft marching for that? Or for me to get 8.25% for the tda back?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, we are all suffering. Sad thing is, it isnt our fault, we will get blamed, nothing will change. I live in staten island, whole career in brooklyn, beg uft for help. No U ratings. Too bad, my problem, my toll, my gas, my parking, my pulling my hair out sitting in traffic. And thats before i set foot in these shithole schools.

Anonymous said...

I have noticed over the past 5 -7 years smiling teachers who seemed happy have morphed into unhappy souls who just seem to be mailing it in. The current system has sucked the life out of a lot of people.
Better off joining the sanitation department, less shit for more pay.

Anonymous said...

The Chancellor and Mulgrew should be held accountable for having these abusive environment in out schools. A stressful and a vicious environment is not conducive for learning. This Chancellor needs to go.

Anonymous said...

I will say it straight up: Been teaching for over 2 decades and have loved up until the BS Danielson drive by observation nonsense. Now I live day by day wondering if some newjack principal is going to come into my room. Thanks to the UFT for allowing this crap to go down.

Anonymous said...

Teacher confidence is gone, replaced now with anticipatory anxiety, high stress levels and sleepless nights due to Danielsen Drive By's and working for free evenings to meet paperwork responsibilities.
Many teachers are developing "other" ailments or illness we ALL know are substantially or in part attributed to the working conditions of NYC Public School Teachers.

Anonymous said...

And jailbird students, raised by jailbird govt dependent parents, who think they are entitled to everything, so show everyone total disrespect.

Anonymous said...

Shooter in Fresno shot and killed whites only because he doesnt like white people. Media? Black lives matter? Uft? No marching? No screaming? Double standard?

Anonymous said...

This must be why teachers are burning out. They are oppressed white people. Now how do you explain what is happening to black teachers?

Anonymous said...

I wouldnt joke. First, its a very serious incident. Second, its true, not a word by anyone. If roles were reversed, you know what would be happening, from msnbc to cnn to sharpton, is a huge double standard.

Anonymous said...

It was also an act of muslim, but wont hear that either.

Anonymous said...

I condemn the shooting of white people. I condemned the LIRR shooter Colin Ferguson in 1993 too. His black rage defense was absurd.But how does it relate to the health of teachers? It does not but this is the only major NYC teacher blog that lets you spew off topic material so you keep doing it. NYC Educator and Ed Notes would never put up with comments that have nothing to do with the topic.

Anonymous said...

I, as white, do get called names based on skin color, white piece of shit. Another comment mentioned students yelling hitler when they found out he was Jewish. So i think it does...Abuse leads to poor health. And we as white people are the minority in schools, and when we are abused it is ignored. Just as the media ignores it when its done by black or muslim against white...

Highly Effective King Clovis said...

I knew a guy, taught Spanish for many years. Kids loved him, teachers liked him, he was a real nice guy. New principal comes in, harangues this guy with unannounced drive by observations. Guy gets a heart attack and dies over Christmas break. Now, maybe she didn't directly cause his death but the undue stress didn't do him any favors.

It's not a white/black thing either. I've seen black teachers get harangued by administrators. Saw one guy who was a great teacher and a great example for the young men at our school, all kids really, but especially the boys, get railroaded out of the classroom and into a dark room in the school on trumped up baseless charges. So it does happen.

James Eterno said...

We've all seen the stress King Clovis. It shouldn't be that way.