To more deeply understand the practice and professional experiences of educators during the 2020 extended school closures, we interviewed 40 teachers from across the country in public, charter, and private schools, at different grade levels, and in different subject areas.
Join report authors Justin Reich, Dan Coleman, Laura Larke, and Farah Faruqi to discuss our interviews with these teachers, our findings, and advice for moving forward.
From our conversations, three key themes emerged: 1) Student Motivation: Teachers struggled to motivate their students through two layers of computer screens; 2) Professional Loss and Burnout: As they lost familiar means of teaching, teachers also lost a fundamental sense of their own efficacy and professional identity;and, 3) Exacerbated Inequities: This sense of loss grew deeper as teachers witnessed the dramatic intensification of the societal inequalities that had always shaped their students’ lives.
Effective planning for school reopening in Fall 2020 will require understanding and addressing these challenges facets of teachers’ experience. We propose five design considerations to plan for resilience: center equity, focus on relationship-building, address student motivation, address staff motivation and burnout, and mitigate uncertainty.
Full, de-identified transcripts of most teacher interviews are available at https://osf.io/2fjtc/. Other researchers who have interviewed teachers this spring and summer are encouraged to share their data there as well.