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The Annual Autumn Teacher Blues – Part 2/3

22 Aug

What my teacher-friend mentioned in Part 1 is probably signs of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which is something I am very familiar with since “it” came home with me from Vietnam in 1966 where I served in combat as a U.S. Marine, which may explain why I’m being polite when I call some people ignorant idiots.

In fact, I have much stronger language for those fools.

A few synonyms for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are battle fatigue, shell shock and trauma and a recent study revealed that about 1 in 3 public school teachers may suffer from PTSD.

No matter how you cut it, teaching is a stressful job for most teachers. If you listen to and believe the “ignorant idiots” that criticize public education in America, you may not believe this but it is a fact.

Medicine Net.com says, “Virtually any trauma, defined as an event that is life-threatening or that severely compromises the emotional well-being of an individual or causes intense fear, may cause Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The National Center for Children Exposed to Violence (NCCEV.org) says, “In 1999, one in six teachers report having been the victim of violence in or around school. This compares to one in nine teachers in 1994.” (The Metropolitan Life Survey of the American Teacher, 1999: Violence in America’s Public Schools – Five Years Later, Metropolitan Life, 1999)

“In order to maintain a clear view of the issue,” NCCEV says, “it is important to keep in mind that school violence can include emotional and physical ridicule or bullying, assaults, threats, sexual offenses, as well as the less apparent but equally important components of graffiti and vandalism, trespassing and gangs.”

May 26, 2011, Sarah D. Sparks wrote an update for Education Week.org on Can a Class of 7th Graders Give Teachers Stress?

Sparks wrote about Teresa McIntyre, a psychology research professor at the University of Houston that said, “Teachers don’t have one or two traumatic events; it’s a chronic daily stress that accumulates over days and months and years. It’s pretty equivalent in other high-risk occupations.”

In a pilot study conducted last year of 50 teachers in four Houston-area middle schools, Ms. McIntyre found as many as one in three teachers in the Houston district were “significantly stressed,” with symptoms ranging from concentration problems, fatigue and sleep problems.

Continued on August 23, 2011 in The Annual Autumn Teacher Blues – Part 3 or return to Part 1

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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