Some of Tennessee’s educators said in a new survey that they worried about students missing class time during the time of COVID-19.
Officials with the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) and the Tennessee Education Research Alliance (TERA) on Sunday released what they said were key findings and responses from the 2021 Tennessee Educator Survey from 40,000 educators.
Key findings from the 2021 survey including the following:
• Tennessee educators’ top COVID-19 related concern was students missing instructional time during the school year.
• Teachers indicated fewer challenges for in-person instruction than for remote learning during the 2020-21 school year.
• Teachers continue to need more support to help meet the non-academic needs of students and families.
• Despite a challenging school year, job satisfaction and perceptions of school climate remains positive among Tennessee educators – continuing a trend that began in 2018.
“Despite challenges due to the pandemic, 50 percent of teachers and 54 percent of administrators in Tennessee participated in the survey this year,” according to an emailed TDOE press release.
“The 2021 overview brief provides detailed analysis of key results for modules related to COVID-19 and the three areas of the department’s Best for All strategic plan- Academics, Student Readiness, and Educators. The brief also includes the department’s proactive responses to provide resources and support to districts, schools, educators, and students.”
The Tennessee Educator Survey is voluntary and confidential. The survey is open to all teachers, administrators, and other certified staff across the state, the press release said.
JC Bowman, executive director of the Nashville-based Professional Educators of Tennessee, said that roughly half the teachers in the state chose not to participate in the study.
“The participation is concerning to us. For the first time since 2014 the participation rate is below 50 percent. The spring data from this year could have little correlation to educators today and should have been released sooner,” Bowman told The Tennessee Star via email Monday.
“These surveys tend to be extremely long and need to be much shorter in our opinion to increase participation. In addition, it may be useful to see if the findings could be replicated by another university. So, I am not sure of the value for policymakers or stakeholders at this time.”
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