2020 has been a tough year to be a PreK-12 teacher. As spring was beginning with all the promise of the final push of the year, schools nationwide abruptly shut down. Teachers, sometimes over the course of a weekend, had to shift to remote teaching while at the same time navigating their own quarantine experience.

Our team of researchers, all former elementary and secondary teachers who are now teacher educators, saw this as a moment in educational history that had to be captured–and so we asked teachers these questions: What are your top 5 issues? How are you problem-solving? On who or what are you relying for help?

Related content: America’s great remote learning experiment

Our survey was open from May 4-May 31, 2020. Using the power of Facebook friends and family and our email network we shared and sent our survey to any teacher who responded yes to our posting (or our Facebook friends’ reposting). We heard from over 700 teachers in 40 different states.

While the challenges were many, the ways in which teachers exhibited their resiliency spoke to the intelligence and creativity of our nation’s educators. It is becoming clear that there are a number of effective practices of teachers who successfully supported and taught our children and their families. These are their practices and their voices.

About the Author:

Jeanne Carey Ingle, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Bridgewater State University (MA). She is relatively new to higher education after working for many years as an urban elementary school teacher. She teaches courses in elementary education, inequality in education, educational technology and English learner education. In addition, she coordinates student teaching experiences and undergraduate research programs. Her research includes teacher experiences during remote emergency teaching, best methods for supporting English learners, increasing access to undergraduate research for marginalized groups and using immersive technologies to prepare pre-service teachers. Follow Jeanne on Twitter @careyingle and on Instagram @teachingandlearningwdringle.

Dr. Andrea Cayson is an associate professor and Graduate Program Coordinator for Elementary and Early Childhood Education at Bridgewater State University (MA). Andrea taught elementary school in Florida for many years before moving to Massachusetts to pursue a career in higher education. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Sheltered English Immersion and mathematics methods. Andrea’s research is focused on supporting English learners and best practices of teacher education.

Dr. Heather Pacheco-Guffrey is an associate professor at Bridgewater State University (MA). There she teachers undergraduate and graduate courses in science, technology, and engineering methods for pre- and in-service teachers. Heather is a former urban public school geoscience teacher. Heather’s research is focused on educator TPACK and how teachers use technology across domains to support the wide range of learners.

Melissa Winchell is an associate professor in Secondary Education and Professional Programs at Bridgewater State University where she teaches graduate and undergraduate students. A veteran of Massachusetts urban public education for over twenty years, Melissa’s research interests are in antiracist education. Melissa is founder of the non-profit Inclusion Matters and a community activist with Massachusetts’ National Association for Multicultural Education, the Federation for Children with Special Needs, the Arc of Massachusetts, and the Department of Developmental Services. Follow Melissa on Twitter @melissawinchell or contact her at mwinchell@bridgew.edu.


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