Texas Mutual Insurance Company has partnered with KXAN as part of our Simple Health Initiative! Marisela Cortes joined us to talk about keeping students — and teachers — safe and healthy this school year.
Marisela says, “As parents send their kids back to school they trust educators to keep their children safe. Safety is an important component of school life, but it’s important for teachers to keep themselves safe as well.”
How can teachers prepare students for a safe year?
· “Hallways, classrooms and reception areas should be kept free of debris and clutter, and trash should be collected and removed daily.
· Electrical and telephone cords should be routed around doorways and walkways.
· Worn, torn or loose floor coverings should be repaired or replaced immediately.
· Floors should be swept or vacuumed daily.
· Spills should be cleaned up promptly and “Caution: Wet Floor” signs displayed.
· Library and classroom bookshelves should be solidly constructed and neatly arranged to reduce the possibility of injuries sustained from collapsing shelves or toppling books.
· Schools with stairwells should ensure the stairs are in good condition, covered with a non-skid material and equipped with sturdy handrails.”
Can you talk about the importance of teacher health & mental health?
“A majority of American teachers feel stressed at work, according to a new survey from the American Federation of Teachers (https://www.the74million.org/61-of-teachers-stressed-out-58-say-mental-health-is-not-good-in-new-national-survey/), and the number citing poor mental health has jumped alarmingly over the past two years. Experts say resultant costs in human resources and health care spending could amount to billions of dollars.”
What are things teachers need to keep in mind to keep themselves healthy?
“While we all know how important sleep is for students, we often forget that it’s a huge factor in our health as well. As you get older, you sleep much less. Sure, you might fall asleep at 8:30 p.m., but you find yourself wide awake at midnight, unable to go back to sleep. A lack of sleep raises stress levels and causes a litany of health issues.
Eight ounces of tart cherry juice, which has melatonin, can help you sleep better. Exercising and laying off the caffeine go a long way toward helping you sleep as well. It’s also beneficial to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up the same time in the morning even on the weekends!
Practicing mindfulness and meditation can help you cope with the stresses of the day. Stress can have an enormous impact on your health, causing chest pain, headaches, and sleep issues, so it’s important to find the right coping techniques.
Meditation is very effective in dealing with stress and increasing focus. While it can be especially hard to calm a teacher’s mind, there are several apps that can help with meditation and mindfulness. I find listening to Tibetan bells to be particularly soothing.”
Sponsored by Texas Mutual Insurance Company. Opinions expressed by the guest(s) on this program are solely those of the guest(s) and are not endorsed by this television station.