This article by Christina Cipriano and Marc Brackett was published on EdSurge on April 7, 2020
At the end of March, our team at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, along with our colleagues at the Collaborative for Social Emotional and Academic Learning, known as CASEL, launched a survey to unpack the emotional lives of teachers during the COVID-19 crisis.
In the span of just three days, over 5,000 U.S. teachers responded to the survey. We asked them to describe, in their own words, the three most frequent emotions they felt each day.
The five most-mentioned feelings among all teachers were: anxious, fearful, worried, overwhelmed and sad. Anxiety, by far, was the most frequently mentioned emotion.
The reasons educators gave for these stress-related feelings could be divided into two buckets. The first is mostly personal, including a general fear that they or someone in their family would contract COVID-19, the new coronavirus. The second pertains to their stress around managing their own and their families’ needs while simultaneously working full-time from home and adapting to new technologies for teaching.
Once distance learning had gone into effect, we heard from one educator who shared:
“My vision of finally having someone else take care of my own kids’ education, even virtually, was smashed to smithereens. This requires 100% parent involvement, actually 200% because my kids are in two different grades!”
Given the unexpected new demands our educators are facing, we might assume that how teachers are feeling now is entirely different from the emotions they were experiencing before the pandemic. But is it?