This study examined special education teachers’ perceptions and experiences as they transitioned to distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although there has been much research on preparing teachers to be effective in online environments, there is limited research on the teaching and learning dynamics when teachers are thrust into distance learning without training and preparation (Kormos, 2018; Moore-Adams et al. 2016; Unruh et al. 2016; Vasquez & Serianni, 2012). As described by Steele (1973), environments are affected by six functions: security and shelter, social contact, symbolic identification, task instrumentality, pleasure, and growth. In a classroom setting, these functions work together to promote a learning environment conducive to transformative experiences. Participants in the study, five special education teachers, wrote three to five journal entries over a six-week period, with a focus on sharing their experiences. These journals were collected and analyzed via a phenomenological method. Textural and structural themes were uncovered, and as was the essence of the teachers’ experiences. Findings demonstrated specific factors that promoted resiliency in teaching during a pandemic – special education teachers sought connections and relationships, they established routines, and looked to administration, peers and families for guidance and support.
Glessner, M. M.,
Johnson, S. A.
The Experiences and Perceptions of Practicing Special Education Teachers During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The Interactive Journal of Global Leadership and Learning, 1(2).