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As a teacher, I am an advocate of safety in the classroom because I know that I am responsible for students while they are in my class. If a student sustains an injury while in my class, I know parents and administrators are going to want to know how the injury occurred and will demand answers to some tough questions.
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Eliminate or Reduce Hazards
Ways to reduce or eliminate hazards:
- Look for hazards
- Know evacuation routes for fires, bomb threats, etc.
- Know where fire extinguishers are located in the building, and know how to use a fire extinguisher.
- Know what to do in case of an earthquake or tornado drill.
- Keep classroom doors locked, especially if your classroom opens to the exterior of a building. Make sure that you know who is at the door should someone knock. If you don’t recognize or know the person knocking, call or buzz the office and explain the situation.
- Consider your room arrangement:
- Do you have desks or other items blocking doorways? Are the aisles or walkways clear and passable?
- Implement a classroom rule that requires students to conceal bottled drinks. If they are knocked over, some one could trip on one.
- Make sure all electrical cords are taped down and do not constitute tripping hazards.
- Do not stack books too high.
- If you teach science, make sure that harmful chemicals are locked in a cabinet and not accessible to students.
- Know what to do in the case of a medical emergency. Teachers should follow their school policy—call the nurse, an administrator, etc.
- Know where first aid kits are located and should be familiar with the items contained within such kits.
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Ask a Fellow Teacher His/Her Opinion
These are a few classroom safety tips that may prevent an injury from occurring. Some teachers do not see certain items as hazards as they are so adapted to their classroom. If you are too familiar with your classroom and have a tendency to overlook such hazards, ask a nearby teacher (one with a neat, organized classroom) to come visit and ask his/her opinion.