WERA 2021 Virtual Symposia, Santa-Coloma-De-Gramenet, Spain, 7 - 09 July 2021, pp.0-1
Teaching and Teaching Profession in the Shadow of COVID-19: Experiences of Teachers and Implications for the Future
The study aims to shed light on Turkish teachers’ perceptions of teacher resilience in the time of COVID-19 Pandemic and explore their experiences in this period. In line with it, phenomenological research design is adopted, and maximum variation sampling was employed in selection of participants, consisted of 15 teachers. Data was obtained from the participants through semi-structured in-depth and focus group interviews, and qualitative content analysis method was employed in the study. As a result, four themes related to teacher resilience were revealed: Profession-Related, Social, Emotional and Motivational Dimensions. The study unveiled that Turkish teachers were not ready for online education and experienced certain challenges in use of effective teaching methods, time management and learner engagement. It indicated low levels of emotional but high levels of social resilience among teachers. Correspondingly, some teachers adapted to the new concept of teaching in a short period of time and many teachers stayed motivated in the face of the unprecented challenges.
Keywords: teacher resilience, teaching profession, distance education, online teaching, COVID-19 Pandemic
Lessons Learnt and Implications for the Future
The study clearly revealed that being flexible and adaptable is one of the most important skills to be resilient during the times of Covid-19 Pandemic. it was observed that the majority of teachers were not ready and prepared for teaching in the face of rapid changes in educational practices. Hence, teachers experienced the challenge of employing effective teaching methods, managing time and to engaging learners during online teaching. Especially in today’s world of rapid knowledge turnover, it is crucial for teachers to be ready for the rapid change and keeping up with change. Teachers are required to abandon conventional methods of teaching and adapt to teaching online to increase learner engagement (König, Jäger-Biela and Glutsch, 2020; Rasmitadila et al, 2020). It is crystal clear that authorities should go to decisions and practices of professional development focusing on effective online teaching strategies, cross-curricular strategies, and supporting resources (Bonella et al, 2020). Teachers also experienced emotional resilience during online teaching the times of Covid-19 Pandemic. However, managing emotions as a person and teacher, coping with job demands and stress were basic threats for teachers. It might be easily concluded that teaching profession not only consist of teaching knowledge but also personal characteristics and wellbeing. In the times of crises, psychological wellbeing of teachers should also be considered to boost teaching motivation of teachers. The study presented that, during online teaching, teachers experienced job demands, work load and stress (MacIntyre, Gregersen, & Mercer, 2020; See, Wardle & Collie, 2020; Şener, Ertem & Meç, 2020). Furthermore, to manage emotional wellbeing, opportunities and platforms should be created for teachers to interact with students and colleagues outside of teaching. Hence, instead of communication with e mail, virtual meetings should be organized to maintain communication (See, Wardle & Collie, 2020). In addition to that current study clearly presented that conducting relationships, communications seeking help and taking advice from colleagues also contributed teachers to overcome challenges and to be socially resilient. The present study pointed out that teachers focused on learning and improvement, and set realistic goals and expectations in crisis management by sometimes focusing more on social interaction than academic achievement, becoming more teacher-centered and making concessions of their inquiry-based curriculum.