Teacher Self-Esteem and Self-Efficacy in Times of COVID-19

Key Takeaway

There appears to have been a decline in self-esteem and self-efficacy among teachers forced to make a rapid switch to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the cases of teachers working closely with students with learning disabilities. —Shekufeh Monadjem

Relationships Matter

The importance of relationships, and in particular those in school settings, is a theme that has begun to come to the forefront in the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cataudella et al. (2021) from the University of Cagliari in Italy investigated how the pandemic has affected teachers’ self-esteem and self-efficacy while trying to maintain meaningful relationships with their students. 

The sudden shift from face-to-face learning to online learning has “made policy-makers and educators realise the importance of human socioemotional aspects in the relationships between teachers and students”. Teachers suddenly had to deliver their lessons using technological tools, including specific online platforms, in order to reach their students. 

Although some teachers were ready to face the situation, a large majority had to adapt their teaching in a short time “without training, with insufficient capacity, and little preparation.” As a result, students became deprived of social, face-to-face interaction among their peers, and teachers and parents were forced to be more involved because of the need for monitoring school lessons at home. 

Teacher Self-Esteem and Self-Efficacy: Measurement and Results

The research in this article focused on the self-esteem and self-efficacy levels of the teachers, respectively defined as an “individual’s consideration of his/her own self as competent and important, as well as perceiving oneself as successful and valuable” and “a person’s conviction in their ability to succeed in a particular situation.”  Job satisfaction levels were measured among the teachers, as well as psychological, physiological, and environmental conditions that can generally guarantee positive feelings towards work,1 which, in turn, increase the rate of productivity and sense of well-being. “Among the variables found in the literature, self-esteem and self-efficacy were found to play an important role in job satisfaction and in the ability to meet or address changes.” The variables which had an effect on teachers’ job satisfaction were also found to have an effect on teacher-student and teacher-parent communication, as well as the aspect of collaboration. 

The results of this study “showed lower self-esteem and lower self-efficacy levels in the teachers who were involved with distance learning as compared with the normative sample.” Self-esteem and self-efficacy also decreased in teachers with greater service seniority at work, and it was usually these teachers who supported students with learning disorders. A consistent supportive context was present for the majority of students with learning disabilities who were successful in their online learning environment. This aspect of providing remote support, which added extra stress, resulted in the decline in job satisfaction rates among teachers in senior positions.

Summarized Article:

Cataudella, S., Carta, S. M., Mascia, M. L., Masala, C., Petretto, D. R., Agus, M., & Penna, M. P. (2021). Teaching in times of the COVID-19 pandemic: A pilot study on teachers’ self-esteem and self-efficacy in an Italian sample. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(15), 8211.

Summary by: Shekufeh - Shekufeh believes that the MARIO Framework builds relationships that enable students to view the world in a positive light as well as empowering them to create plans that ultimately lead to their success. 

Additional References:

  1. Baluyos, G. R., Rivera, H. L., & Baluyos, E. L. (2019). Teachers’ job satisfaction and work performance. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 7(08), 206.

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Join the MARIO Family

We are a dedicated group of learners that are constantly seeking to improve the lives of the children we care for. Whether you are a teacher, parent, assistant, or administrator, we give you free access to the most recent special education related research and practices available. Our twice monthly MARIO Memo summarizes and shares studies from peer-reviewed journals, while our learning letters provide insights from MARIO classrooms.

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