School conditions often vary from town to town. Some schools in poorer neighborhoods may be rundown, have few supplies and equipment, and lack air conditioning. Other schools may be new and well equipped and maintained. Conditions at postsecondary institutions are generally very good. Regardless of the type of conditions facing elementary and secondary schools, seeing students develop and enjoy learning can be rewarding for teachers and other education workers. However, dealing with unmotivated students or those with social or behavioral problems can be stressful and require patience and understanding.
Most educational institutions operate 10 months a year, but summer sessions for remedial or adult students are not uncommon. Education administrators, office and administrative support workers, and janitors and cleaners often work the entire year. Night and weekend work is common for teachers of adult literacy and remedial and self-enrichment education, for postsecondary teachers, and for library workers in postsecondary institutions. Part-time work is common for this same group of teachers, as well as for teacher assistants and school busdrivers. The latter often work a split shift, driving one or two routes in the morning and afternoon; drivers who are assigned to drive students on field trips, to athletic and other extracurricular activities, or to midday kindergarten programs work additional hours during or after school. Many teachers spend significant time outside of school preparing for class, doing administrative tasks, conducting research, writing articles and books, and pursuing advanced degrees.
Despite occurrences of violence in some schools, educational services is a relatively safe industry. There were 2.8 cases of occupational injury and illness per 100 full-time workers in private educational establishments in 2002, compared with 5.3 in all industries combined.