Safety is everyone's responsibility. A school district's administrators, whether on the campus or in the district's central offices, have a crucial role in assuring that students and teachers work and learn in an environment that is safe. See the introduction in the TEA Texas Safety Standards Introduction.pdf document for more on the administrators' responsibilities. As science teachers, we have a duty and responsibility to guard our safety and the safety of our students by providing training, supervision, and a safe environment in which to learn science.
The training you are about to begin is a self-paced course. It includes information about your legal and classroom responsibilities, information about how to operate and maintain lab safety equipment, and web links and documents for you to access and utilize during this training and throughout the school year.
Before you begin the course, open the Texas Education Agency Texas Safety Standards.pdf file and save it to your desktop or in your documents so you can reference it throughout the course and during the year. Two additional documents that may be helpful are the Safety in the Elementary Science Classroom manual from the American Chemical Society and the Science and Safety: It's Elementary! calendar from the Council for State Science Supervisors. An expanded list of resources can be found here.
At the end of the course, you will take an exam over the course content. A score of 80% or better is required to earn 3 CPEs and a certificate of completion.
** "TEA Science Safety Training for Elementary School" online course is intended as an introduction to science safety and is not meant to take the place of a complete safety training.**
By the end of the course, participants should be able to
- prepare, model, and instruct proper safety procedures and practices for students;
- plan, implement, and actively supervise appropriate science activities;
- monitor/maintain safety equipment, laboratory space, materials, and chemicals;
- and support science teachers and students in maintaining a safe learning environment.
Organizations such as the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and the National Science Education Leadership Association (NSELA) generate position statements on topics such as science inquiry, lab investigations, and safety. Click the link to NSTA to read the Position Statement on Safety and School Science Instruction.
Additional position statements can be located in Appendix B of the Texas Education Agency Texas Safety Standards.pdf document.