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Sustaining a Sense of Success: The Importance of Teacher Working Conditions During the COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 shuttered schools across the United States, upending traditional approaches to education. We examine teachers’ experiences during emergency remote teaching in the spring of 2020 using responses to a working conditions survey from a sample of 7,841 teachers across 206 schools and 9 states. Teachers reported a range of challenges related to engaging students in remote learning and balancing their professional and personal responsibilities. Teachers in high-poverty and majority Black schools perceived these challenges to be the most severe, suggesting the pandemic further increased existing educational inequities. Using data from both pre-post and retrospective surveys, we find that the pandemic and pivot to emergency remote teaching resulted in a sudden, large drop in teachers’ sense of success. We also demonstrate how supportive working conditions in schools played a critical role in helping teachers to sustain their sense of success. Teachers who could depend on their district and school-based leadership for strong communication, targeted training, meaningful collaboration, fair expectations, and recognition of their efforts were least likely to experience declines in their sense of success.

Keywords
Teachers, Working Conditions, COVID-19, Student Engagement, Organizational Change, School Leadership, Equity
Education level
Document Object Identifier (DOI)
10.26300/35nj-v890

EdWorkingPaper suggested citation:

Kraft, Matthew A., Nicole S. Simon, and Melissa Arnold Lyon. (). Sustaining a Sense of Success: The Importance of Teacher Working Conditions During the COVID-19 Pandemic . (EdWorkingPaper: -279). Retrieved from Annenberg Institute at Brown University: https://doi.org/10.26300/35nj-v890

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