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Teachers describe their worst injury at work

October 28, 2017

For some reason, when I ask a question about people’s worst experiences I get far more clear answers to the question, alongside complaints about that I have a sinister agenda and demands that teachers be silent.

My latest question was:

What’s the worst injury you’ve suffered while working as a teacher?

I’ve had fewer complaints about this one, although somebody did sarcastically ask why I didn’t ask for people’s best injury. I’ve ignored the many responses where people discussed damage that was only to their pride, credibility or dreams. I haven’t included discussion of mental health as that’s been covered in previous posts. Also most (but not all) of the people telling me about their paper cuts have been left out. As ever, I followed up the more suspicious ones, but may still have been fooled. The thread can be found here.

I shot myself in the arm… though it wasn’t with a firearm. With the top of an exploding 2 L[itre] bottle. Lab coat had the bloodstains to prove it. I was utterly, utterly mind-bendingly stupid and learned a very great deal in about a third of a second

30 mini whiteboards fell out of cupboard onto my head – 1 at a time – 4 hrs in A&E and head glued back together – very painful … my fault for not putting them away properly

Caught a ring on a door handle and it cut into my finger so deeply it needed to be cut off by a mechanic at the garage across the road.

Paper cut… on my eyeball. Child did it by accident. It was horrific! Needed anaesthetic drops for a few days.

Basketball hit me full in the mouth…whilst I had a whistle in it…lost two teeth. The cost of getting them replaced was the real shock of the whole ordeal. My savings took as much damage as my mouth did.

Last Friday of this half-term – college laptop trolly rolled into my 2 biggest toes on left foot. Same foot as plantar fasciitis & Achilles tendinitis issues. I didn’t use the ‘f’ word as student was with me.

Hypermobility + a few months of sitting on tiny children’s chairs caused lower-back go into semi-permanent spasm. Had to ask for adult chair Policy was for child-centred classrooms with no adult desk or chairs- teachers to be ‘working with group or individuals at all times’ Was told ‘If we give a teacher a chair, the problem with that is that they will sit down and not get up from it’ So, the ideal was for T[eacher] to stand or kneel near a table, or sit on a child’s chair, or sit on the floor.

As new H[ead]T[eacher], went to U[pper]K[ey]S[tage]2 Xmas party, vaulted over bench to leave hall and removed 4 square inches of skin from bald head on door frame. Was away at a meeting with the L.A. the next day, by the evening local rumours were that I was in hospital with head injuries

1) Staple in my finger. 2) Banged my knee a few times.3) Catching my arm on door handles.4) Heart attack.5) Trapping my finger in a drawer.

1) got tangled in cables like a giant fly in a spider web 2) slipped down a muddy slope in front of the entire school while on bus duty. Massive bruising and huge embarrassment both times. Although a kind Year 11 helped me up out of the mud & didn’t laugh while the other 1499 students pissed themselves.

nearly lost my left hand in a horrendous accident on school trip! 10 ops later it’s as good as it will be. there’s the proof. …had hold of the seat in front as the coach rolled and then slid down m6… window broke…. Had to have it stitched into my stomach for 4 weeks for a flap to cover I know even I gulped when the doc suggested it! I was a ‘little teapot for a month.  it was a nightmare!! They needed the blood vessels to join… 9 hour op too! I should add the NUT were fab … Their solicitor was superb

Slipped a disc lifting student into water ambulance during school trip to Venice. Contracted TB (possibly not at school, but sounds good).

I was hit by falling scaffolding once.

Grade 3 tear of gastrocnemius. Happened on sports day. Exactly coincided with pistol to start 100 m[e]t[re]s. I thought I had been shot. True story.

Broke a burette off in my thumb last year and severed a nerve. Still no feeling in it.

Definitely a student moving chair onto foot whilst sat on it

Concussion- could see children messing around for TA & glared at them-ch[ildre]n stopped- missed footing on last 5 steps…cue pratfall/f[ore]w[ar]d roll

Exhausted by overworking and unreasonable demands, I completely missed a step and fell down stairs. Thought “Didn’t get a degree for this”.

Pulled my back celebrating a spectacular comeback by the Y[ear] 8 football team was coaching back in the day. Took 3 month’s chiropractic to sort.

Missed a step covered in a drift of leaves & fell full length.Usual hilarity from students tempered by fact that I was 8 months pregnant.

Broke a finger attempting to stop a rugby ball from hitting a spectator. Still hit her, but on the back rather than on the head.

Crashed my motorcycle on the way to school. Still got in. My form saw the blood on my leg. Got ambulance. Came back from hospital to teach.

Ruptured my thigh muscle taking a penalty against a year 7 on lunch duty. Went top corner though so not all bad  [this was from my former form tutor, but I’m assuming I’m not implicated as it was “1st year” not “year 7” back then]

Prolapsed disk when the caretaker used the wrong polish on the floor turning it into a skating rink!

Husband snapped achilles tendon, teaching football on astros…

Temporarily blinded as lid came off the copydex mid shake. Shouted “Shit!” loudly which shocked kids more than my eyes covered in glue.

Spine surgery from writing too many schemes of work without good back support. I took on a dept[artment] in 2nd y[ea]r of career, managed all of SLT and there was nothing. Had an op in 2009 and learned a lot about life in that year!

Accidental broken toe. Me vs. heavy box of music stands. Helpful child said ‘you can swear if you like miss – looked like it hurt’. It did.

I scraped my shin and badly injured my pride falling-off a chair balanced on a table, as I put up a display… as a class quietly worked…  and I dislocated my knee in a Staff Vs Parents hockey match.

Almost broke fingers and arm, grassboarding down a slope on y[ea]r 7 activity holiday session!

being bitten. Also having a chair leg land on my foot (sandals

Molten jelly baby flew out of boiling tube onto my hand during open evening demo. I kept smiling

Sort of injury, kidney stones from not drinking enough water during school day. Agony for 2 days. Now I know opioids REALLY work.

slipped on a wet corridor and broke a finger pride also suffered considerable injury. After year 11 stopped convulsing with laughter following my very slapstick slip they did show great concern and sympathy

Sewed through my finger on a sewing machine whilst helping Year 11. Just about managed not to bleed on her coursework!

Ice skating lesson with a school group in 1988 & stuck the rear right boot spike through my left boot. Stab wound & 2 broken bones in foot!

Fractured my arm after falling off a ladder putting Christmas dec[oration]s up or scalded my foot after dropping an urn of hot water.

Electric shocks from various electricity experiments, and falling over and hurting my thumb.

Ran a ski trip to Italy and chair lift bar fell on my head, lots of blood and was taken down the slope in the blood-wagon. Tried to walk through a swing door which was normally well oiled, unfortunately this time it wasn’t and I went head first into the glass!

Stitches in a finger due to a stubborn classroom locker. Expletives were used. Entire Year 4 class were shocked. Hospital swiftly attended.

cracked patella jumping rope with 3rd graders

Mild concussion. Projector screen fell from roof hit me on head.

A bruised backside when I slipped on ice taking Tutor group to Xmas carol service. They kindly picked me up.

Slipped a disc standing up from my chair whilst teaching a PSHE lesson. Needed [other teachers] to carry me away from class!!

Fell off a table whilst putting up a display. Did my knee good and proper

I stapled my finger when putting up a display. Ive also caught thousands of colds (but that’s illness not injury).

My funniest injury at sch[ool]: stapled my fingers together whilst holding a stapler & teaching.

Electric shock off a whiteboard…it certainly made me jump!!

Torn my knee ligaments jumping on a trampoline

During my PGCE I dislocated my shoulder from stopping a pass in a lunchtime basketball game.

Fractured my humerus, two ribs and cut my eyebrow… I fell

Trapped arm in a door while restraining a student (Special needs School) [went to] A&E

Regularly I have bruises mid thigh from walking into tables

I slipped in the dining hall on a sausage and did a strange somersault, a plate crashed to the floor bounced up & and sliced open my cheek

Tripped up stairs on the way to a lesson, laptop went flying, smashed my head on the handrail, knocked myself out, in front of students

Punched in the temple by a y[ear] 8 boy. Headbutted (didn’t connect) by an angry y[ear] 11. Wallet nicked by a y[ear] 11 that I had spent hours supporting.

Lice, scabies and flea bites. All in a days work. Oh yes. And a tub of black powder paint with no lid, fell off a shelf on my head. Scary sight.

Torn [anterior cruciate ligament] in right knee whilst separating two Year 9 boys fighting!

Once thought it good idea to remove OHP bulb immediately after it blew. Fingerprints returned after a few months

I ripped a muscle in my lower back moving a filing cabinet. Had waited for the site agent for 5 days and got tired of waiting.  won’t make the mistake again, will just wait nicely!

Bumped into a table (fixed to the floor). Bruise on my thigh is about 10 cm long, 5 cm high. Done this almost every month, for 20 y[ears].

Broke a tooth on school pitta bread…

Dropped a recycling bin on my foot and lost a toenail.

Got slapped around the face and then kicked twice one morning.

Burnt most of my hand when I didn’t use a long enough fuse for a flash powder demonstration

I fell off my bike in front of the main entrance, causing moderate but prolonged reputational damage.

Put a staple through my finger while putting up a display.

Badly cut knee and ripped suit after attempting to show Y[ear] 6 boys,playing football on the playground, ‘how it’s done’.

Took an “accidentally released” rounders bat to the gentleman’s area. If I wasn’t the recipient it would have been funny.

Partially tore ligaments while mucking about being a wolf in the playground

Tripped on cracked car park tarmac, burst knee wide open. Lots of stitches

I broke my foot at 7am at school on a dodgy paving slab and then walked around on it for the rest of the day before getting an X-ray. I also once dropped molten hot sulfur on my hand while doing a demo,had to teach the rest of my lesson with my hand in a bowl of cold water

Fell 2 steps walking down unlit stairs and twisted ankle. Had an xray and 2 days off work.

Cut my finger open whilst shutting a toilet door I spotted was ajar. Kid in my class provided me with loo roll from his bag that he kept there with a torch in case he needed to go for a poo in the dark! Not sure which event was the weirdest.

Fell off a chair doing a display- Huge bruise black on arm…despite just saying to students always use a chair for its intended purpose!

I broke my ankle in the middle of one of my [physical education] classes.

Broke bone in coccyx. Also got pneumonia from sewage has when basement flooded. Illness rather than injury really.

My eye got cut from a student’s nail when playing basketball with them. Lost a high % of peripheral vision in my right eye.

I’ve suffered a cut lip when a child I was sitting next to shot his hand up a little enthusiastically. Still think he did it on purpose

There have been a couple of reasonably serious injuries in the staff-sixth form football. Not to me though.

Banging my head – It’s not easy being a giant.

[From a school business manager] There was the time I was walking along a corridor & a teacher opened an outward opening door & pole-axed me. They were mortified..

Got punched by a parent, but wasn’t injured, and in retrospect she was probably in the right. Who was I to tell her son to tuck in his shirt?

Shut the filing cabinet in my classroom and trapped my nipple in it. No idea how I managed that..

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One comment

  1. Reblogged this on The Echo Chamber.



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