Areas of Concern and Optimism
While teacher confidence in the profession increased from last year, teachers still have plenty of concerns, especially given the distance learning and hybrid formats implemented in many of their districts. Most educators said they expected the teaching and learning landscape to look significantly different this school year—and they were right.
The ECR explains that in June, teachers' concerns primarily included:
- Ensuring that a plan for learning moving forward was in place in the event schools couldn't reopen and/or the severity of COVID-19 necessitated school closings.
- Ensuring students' needs were met during the transition to remote learning.
- Meeting the social and emotional needs of students (which a majority of teachers said was incorporated into distance learning to only a small extent or not at all).
Additionally, compared with 2019, more educators this year found they were concerned with:
- Differentiating lessons for special education and students who require intervention (49%, up 20 points)
- Inequity (48%, up 9 points)
- A lack of technology devices (44%, up 17 points)
- Supporting the needs of students of color (44%, new item added to the list)
- Differentiating instruction for English language learners (32%, up 9 points)
Despite these concerns, many teachers were able to identify positive outcomes for educators that arose out of the pandemic. The graphic below shows that many educators used this opportunity to discover new teaching formats and methods and to connect with students and their families on a new level. A majority (62%) also noted that there seemed to be a newfound respect for the role of teachers in kids' lives.