In a survey by the union – which this week will debate a motion at its conference calling for parents of disruptive pupils to see their child benefit docked – 64 staff said they had been physically harmed by a student, and more than a fifth of the 1,000 questioned said they had developed mental health problems.
Nearly 40% of teachers said they had considered leaving the profession because of bad behaviour.
Physical attacks – on other children as well as teachers – were far more common in primary schools, where half of staff reported pupils being physically aggressive, compared with 20% in secondaries.
Nearly a quarter of staff felt they did not get enough support from parents when raising concerns about a child's behaviour. Another proposal set to be debated at the ATL's conference is Manchester is for mothers and fathers to attend parenting classes to help them deal with badly behaved children.
A head of department at a secondary in Leicestershire told of being physically sick every morning at the thought of going to work "and wondering whether my teeth were going to get knocked out". On two occasions students had gone to attack another pupil but had ended up hitting the teacher in their rage, and twice the member of staff had been sexually assaulted.
"I feel that we get no support from government – they have no idea of the reality of inner-city schools," the ATL member said.
At a primary school in Essex, a head of department said: "I have had a threat to my life from a parent because I told a child to complete their homework during part of their golden time [fun activities]. It was threatened that they and their family would kill me when I came to or from school."
The teacher had to be transported to and from school every day by the head, and the school went to court to get an injunction banning the parent from the premises.
A Surrey head of department said: "In the past year I have been involved with incidents of smoking, drug abuse, assault, pupils 'losing it' and being out of control, very strong and repeated verbal abuse to staff and management, use of mobile phones in class, cyberbullying ... Such incidents are increasing, and taking away teacher time from the main purpose of our jobs, ie teaching."
And one primary school teacher told the union students' behaviour had made them ill, adding: "I have 15 years until retirement, but would leave tomorrow if I could."
The survey of teachers, lecturers, support staff and school leaders in state and independent schools and colleges across the UK found that almost half thought behaviour in the classroom had got worse over the past two years. Half had suffered verbal attacks, and nearly 40% intimidation. Pushing and shoving was the most common aggressive behaviour, with punches being thrown in half of incidents.
The ATL's general secretary, Mary Bousted, said: "It is totally unacceptable that poor student behaviour continues to be such a widespread problem in schools and colleges, and shocking that over a third of staff have experienced aggression from students' parents or guardians.
"Staff should not be subjected to violent behaviour by either students or parents. Parents should be acting as good role models by supporting staff and helping them create a more positive learning environment for their children.
"Schools cannot be expected to solve the problems of society. However, it is encouraging that most schools seem to have clear behaviour policies, and offer support to manage poor behaviour. The most effective learning happens when teachers and parents work together to help children to learn to behave well."
The schools minister, said the government would announce measures to improve behaviour this week. According to the inspectorate, Ofsted, behaviour was a significant concern in only 2% of secondary schools, he added.
"Good behaviour and an atmosphere of respect should be the norm in all schools," he said. "We have given headteachers clear legal powers to enforce discipline which means they can get tough on poor behaviour without fear of being taken to court.""
"Parents have also been made to take their responsibilities seriously."
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