Perceptions of the State of Teaching: Our 6th Annual Educator Confidence Report

For the past five years, the Educator Confidence Report has given voice to our nation’s educators—bringing to the forefront their views on the state of K–12 education, their profession, and what their students need. Our new 6th Annual Educator Confidence Report (ECR) continues to amplify teacher voices in 2020.

With the ongoing disruption to teaching and learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic this year, we knew that voice was more important than ever for educators on the front lines in schools across the country.

While much of the narrative we hear is about the many challenges educators are facing, the results of this year’s survey told a different story. The Teacher Confidence Index is a unique measure of teachers’ overarching sentiment regarding the profession drawn from key survey indicators. This year, the average score increased from 43 to 48, a marked increase from last year. Teachers recognize the challenges and believe there is still work to be done to ensure the nation is able to effectively instruct students, yet they also identified many bright spots, and 75% said they felt prepared to take on the challenges to come.

In 2020, educators have been forced to quickly adapt to remote learning environments, in many cases leveraging EdTech in new ways. While the challenges have been deeply felt, this period has also created a meaningful shift.

This year’s ECR shows that the majority of teachers (71%) agree that the COVID-19 distance learning experience has moved education closer to fully realizing the potential of technology for teaching and learning. Teachers worked hard to make the transition to distance learning and embraced digital tools and resources.

If there is one thing that stands out to us from this year’s ECR, it is the resilience of educators and their unwavering commitment to the profession and their students. Educators are even more likely to say that they are staying in the field than they were in 2019. They are meeting this challenge head on, and even amidst the uncertainties tied to the pandemic, they are doing everything they can to get their essential job done.

This year’s ECR highlights the work ahead for all of us in supporting teachers during this critical time. We know that technology cannot and should not replace teachers, but it can extend their ability to serve each student—something they need now more than ever, given the challenges of this unusual year.

To make our teachers and their students successful, it is time to enable a new digital-first, connected era of learning, where technology can engage students and personalize learning—and teachers are the architects of this multifaceted experience.

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