In search of silver linings in teaching during COVID-19: the perspectives of early childhood teachers in the United States

Document Type


Publication Date



This study sought to explore the potential silver linings that early childhood teachers in the United States might find amidst the teaching-related challenges and stress arising from the unconventional teaching necessitated by COVID-19. The participants consisted of 15 early childhood teachers teaching in preschool−3rd grade during the 2020–2021 school year. These teachers (ages 24–45 years, M = 32 years) had one to 10 years of teaching experience. Eight of them just completed their first year of teaching. Each teacher was interviewed for 60–90 minutes (M = 75 minutes) virtually via Zoom. Thematic analysis of the data revealed the five most salient silver linings: (1) ‘thinking outside the box,’ (2) gaining and applying newfound pedagogical skills, (3) cultivating and applying compassion and understanding towards the children and their families, (4) building and applying stress resilience, and (5) developing and applying adaptability and flexibility. The first two silver linings may be characterised as pedagogical skills, the next two as professional dispositions, and the last one as both a necessary professional skill and a positive professional disposition. Collectively, these five silver linings were seemingly amplified as sources of strength for the teachers to navigate the challenging and stressful teaching terrain during COVID-19.

Publication Title

Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice



This document is currently not available here.