Published on February 19, 2021
What is like to be a teacher in California during the pandemic? What are their experiences and challenges? How do they engage their students when they are on-line? How do they revise their curriculum and teaching practices for distance learning? What supports are they receiving (and not receiving)? How do they feel about state and district policies and the re-opening of schools?
What if you could talk about all this with one hundred of California’s leading teachers spread across the state?
On this page, EdSource presents the findings of the inaugural California Teacher Consultant Response Network. It is a project of the nonprofit Inverness Institute. In late January, researchers enrolled 121 teachers from across the state to be consultant members of the network and report back periodically on their experiences. Members were selected from lists of teachers who have participated in education leadership programs and school improvement and curriculum networks. Those chosen closely match the diversity of the state’s teaching force by ethnicity, gender and geography. Two-thirds teach at the middle and high school levels. Most have more than 10 years of classroom experience.
The teachers’ responses and their extensive comments are reported here in a series of “spotlights.” Each spotlight focuses on a different set of survey questions and provide a different focal point of the teachers’ perspective.
Since the teachers selected for the survey are “energetic and optimistic by nature,” the authors write, their sober assessments should serve as “an even stronger warning” of the difficulties facing the teaching profession, their students and the consequences of inequalities the pandemic has magnified.
Teachers reflect on their experiences as they adapt to serve their students during the pandemic.
Teachers express concerns about the effect of the pandemic and distance learning on their students’ social and emotional wellbeing.
Teachers discuss how they relied on colleagues and long hours to solve challenges and learn new technologies they’ll use moving forward.
Teachers discuss whether the pandemic has caused them to consider changing careers.
Teachers discuss the conditions under which they would be comfortable resuming in-person instruction.
Teachers share their messages for policymakers, education leaders and the public.
California teachers have witnessed the massive disruption and responded to the challenges of Covid-19. Now they have a year’s worth of observations and insights to share with their colleagues.
A survey of teachers across the country shows their experiences during Covid closely resembles that of the California teachers in our network.