Early Childhood Teachers’ Experiences During the COVID-19 Pandemic
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe COVID-19 pandemic posed unique challenges for early childhood teachers while facilitating the learning and development of young students. This study examined early childhood teachers’ (K-2 grade levels) experiences with online/hybrid classes and the transition back to in-person classes from Spring 2020 to Fall 2021, in Pakistan and the US. It comprised of two phases: survey (consisting of closed- and open-ended questions) (n = 53) and interviews (n = 12). Survey findings from closed-ended items indicated some shared experiences of teachers in the US and Pakistan with regards to student engagement, use of technological tools, support/resources from school administration, peers, and parents, collaboration with parents, and stress during online classes, as shown by t-test results (ps > .05). Pakistani teachers reported higher scores within the themes of students’ internet accessibility, preparedness (online/hybrid and in-person classes), self-efficacy (online/hybrid classes), and US teachers reported higher scores within the theme of stress (in-person classes) (ps < .05). Common challenges with the transition back to in-person classes that teachers in Pakistan and the US reported in the open-ended survey items were the students’ learning gaps and the need for social-emotional learning. Following themes emerged from the interview responses of teachers: Online Classes (proficiency in technology-use, challenges of online teaching, limited resources, parental involvement, planning, student engagement, increased workload, positive aspects of online teaching), Challenges of hybrid teaching, In-person Classes (adjustment for teachers and students, learning gaps), Suggestions for School Administrators. Some experiences that were unique to Pakistani teachers and affected their experiences with online classes also showed up, like electricity shortages disrupting online classes, and gender-based expectations of managing household responsibilities, leading to increased workloads for female teachers.
Degree ProgramGraduate College