Teacher survey 2:

Teachers reflect on returning to school this spring 

Published on June 14, 2021

What is it like to be a teacher in California during the pandemic? What are their experiences and challenges as schools slowly reopen? How do teachers feel about health and safety issues associated with reopening? How do teachers feel about their inclusion in the decision-making process about reopening? What are teachers’ greatest challenges as schools reopen? What are teachers’ insights into the social-emotional and academic status of their students? What do teachers have to say about state and district policies regarding the reopening of schools?

On this page, EdSource presents the findings of the second survey of the California Teacher Consultant Response Network, a project of the nonprofit Inverness Institute.

From April 30 to May 20, researchers enrolled 136 teachers from across California to be consultant members of the network and report back 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 matched the diversity of the state’s teaching force by ethnicity, gender, grade level and geography. Most have more than 10 years of classroom experience.

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.

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 provides a different focal point of the teachers’ perspective. The complete set of over 3,000 comments from the two surveys are available here. We encourage readers and researchers to mine this rich dataset and believe it provides a window into the world of teaching in this challenging era.


Survey Spotlights

Teachers discuss the challenges and the limits of a partial reopening

Teachers reflect on their experiences of returning to in-person instruction.

Teachers reflect on how students are doing after returning to school

This spotlight highlights teachers’ thoughts about the return to in-person classes after months of distance learning.

How teachers see the current health of the educational system

This spotlight highlights teachers’ thoughts about various aspects of reopening schools, including how Covid funds were spent and how the reopening plan, in general, is working out at their schools.