The COVID-19 pandemic has changed all aspects of our everyday lives, including teaching and learning. TERA's research in this area will focus on understanding teacher and student experiences throughout the pandemic, the long-term impacts of schooling during the pandemic on teacher and student outcomes, and how innovations adopted during this time may shape public education going forward.
Throughout the past year, TERA has worked with six school districts in Tennessee to inform evidence-based decision making as they seek to best support their students during and after the pandemic. As part of this effort, we analyzed data typically collected by schools—such as enrollment, attendance, and teacher retention data—and supported districts in conducting surveys to better understand the experiences of students and teachers. In this report, we summarize key patterns within and across these sources of data from the six districts that capture the experiences of students and educators during the first half of this school year.
With the unprecedented school closures due to COVID-19, Tennessee educators had to fundamentally alter how they do their jobs. To understand ore about how educators across the state have addressed the challenges related to the closures, TERA asked teachers and school leaders to report on their experiences as part of the 2020 Tennessee Educator Survey. This brief analyzes educator responses to the questions specific to COVID-19, and provides insights on how teachers and principals worked to support their students while school buildings were closed in the spring of 2020.