Why teachers are getting high marks for coronavirus response

88% of parents approve of how teachers have handled the crisis, union says
By: | May 5, 2020
Since the shift to online and distance learning, parents have given high approval ratings to teachers, such as these educators in the Gresham-Barlow School District in Oregon.Since the shift to online and distance learning, parents have given high approval ratings to teachers, such as these educators in the Gresham-Barlow School District in Oregon.

The approval ratings of teachers, bus drivers, food service workers and other school staff are surging since the coronavirus outbreak closed schools, according to a new NEA survey.

Some 88% of parents approved of how their children’s teachers have handled the coronavirus pandemic, particularly in shifting to online learning, the teacher’s union’s survey found.

And 81% of respondents gave high marks to their schools’ support staff for getting meals to students throughout the crisis.

“Educators are stepping up to help America’s students in the face of this unprecedented global crisis,” NEA President Lily Eskelsen García said in a statement on NEA Today. “Never have all of our nation’s educators been more appreciated and seen—even as they work with students from a distance.”


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Meanwhile, a majority of parents surveyed said they were as concerned about their children falling behind in school as they were about contracting COVID-19.

These concerns were particularly high among Latino and African American parents, the survey found.

A substantial number of parents also expressed concern about their children missing friends and teachers during distance learning, the survey found.

Parents also asked for more resources and training on distance learning and urged districts to continue paying teachers during school closures.

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For example, administrators and teachers in New York’s Scarsdale Union Free School District held a virtual “Scarsdale Wellness Week” in April.

Scarsdale Wellness Week featured dozens of synchronous and asynchronous workshops on cooking, yoga, art and other topics.

And in Minnesota’s Brainerd Public Schools, Director of Technology Sarah Porisch has been using her weekly “Tech Tidbit” video series to give teachers tips on everything from photo editing to classroom management apps to accessibility.

Finally, administrators in the School District Of Manatee County in Florida purchased high-powered routers and converted 25 school buses into mobile WiFi hotspots.

“We look at this implementation not just for COVID-19 but beyond that,” Chief Technology Officer Scott Hansen told DA. “It’s an opportunity to provide students with access during the course of a bus ride, whether it’s sports, clubs or field trips.”

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DA’s coronavirus page offers complete coverage of the impacts on K-12.