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  1. Sadler, Troy ; Mensah, Felicia M. (Ed.)
    As the pandemic began to disrupt school systems in March 2020, teachers were expected to quickly modify their instructional approaches. We recruited science, technology, engineering, and mathematics teachers who were recipients of National Science Foundation scholarships based on their high-quality academic record and commitment to working in high-needs school districts to participate in a longitudinal survey study. Participants (n = 153) graduated from universities or colleges in the Mountain West or western region of the Midwest. Through a series of three surveys administered throughout 2020 to all participants and follow-up focus group interviews with a subset (n = 42) in early 2021, we examined participants' perceptions and beliefs about the educational system's response to COVID-19. Participants perceived that the continuation of instructional delivery was the highest priority and that their professional needs were the lowest priority. Most participants believed the actions taken by school districts and schools to be negative or neutral. Participants were categorized by years of experience (preservice 0, novice 1–3, early career 4–5, and master 6+) to compare their perceptions of success and intentions to continue teaching. Participants perceived that their level of success increased with years of professional experience prior to the pandemic, but all participants reported feeling less successfulmore »during the pandemic. Despite participants' negative beliefs about the school response and perceived low levels of success, they intended to remain in the classroom short-term but not necessarily long term. We recommend that teacher educators and administrators (1) help teachers develop their personal knowledge and skills for use in the classroom, especially considering the national shortage of science (and STEM, broadly) teachers in high-needs districts and (2) develop proactive plans for responding to unexpected crises on large scales, as well as those limited to a particular region.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 10, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 13, 2023
  3. Zhou, Jianhong (Ed.)
    There is an alarming shortage of qualified STEM teachers in American PK-12 schools. The COVID-19 pandemic may exacerbate this crisis and consequently affect who participates in future STEM innovation. At three points during the pandemic, we surveyed early career teachers who were supported by the National Science Foundation as they began teaching in high-needs school districts. Teachers who felt connected to their professional and academic communities reported intentions to remain in the profession, while those who felt isolated reported intentions of leaving. It is critical for STEM academics to maintain professional relationships with graduates who pursue STEM teaching professions after graduation.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 17, 2023
  4. The Problem The US is currently experiencing a shortage of K-12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) teachers, especially in high-poverty communities. The shortage can be explained by both low teacher recruitment and high teacher turnover; however, the reasons why teachers leave the profession are complex. The Solution We argue that teacher professional development programs are often focused on how teachers can meet the needs of their students but ignore how teachers can build their own professional resilience. We draw from research in both teacher self-efficacy and ecological adaptive capacity to propose a revised Teacher-Centered Systemic Reform Model that identifies adaptive capacity as an outcome goal for individuals and school systems. School environments are dynamic (e.g., new policies, student needs, and changing administrators), and as a result, teachers need skills to adapt, enabling them to be resilient while still meeting students’ needs. The Stakeholders Professional development, teacher educators, human resource development (HRD) practitioners, K-12 STEM teachers.