1st Edition

Teacher Professionalism During the Pandemic Courage, Care and Resilience

    148 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    148 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This insightful book uniquely charts the events, experiences and challenges faced by teachers during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic including periods of national lockdowns and school closures.

    Research-based and evidence informed, this key title explores the multiple media outputs created by teachers in a variety of different socio-economic contexts. The authors reflect on their stories through a series of themed analyses, as well as describing and discussing key issues related to the enactment of teacher professionalism in challenging times.

    With fascinating vignettes and interview extracts that reinforce the idea that teachers can manage rather than survive, this book unveils a strong sense of moral purpose, professional identity, commitment, care and resilience. It will be of interest to teachers, head teachers and teacher educators internationally.

    1. Professionalism in times of change  2. Building relationships and managing emotions: Early-career teachers’ perspectives  3. Adapting to the challenges: Mid-career teachers’ perspectives  4. Teaching as service: Later-career teachers' perspectives  5. Navigating the storm: Occupational and subjective wellbeing  6. Professional identities: The importance of agency  7. Commitment to care  8. Organisational belonging and commitment: The importance of trust  9. Teacher professionalism: More than the sum of the parts


    Christopher Day is Professor of Education in the School of Education, University of Nottingham, UK, Professor of Educational Leadership and Management in the University of Sydney, Australia. He is a Founder of the International Study Association on Teachers and Teaching (ISATT), leader of the International School Principalship Project (ISSPP), and his latest books are School-University Partnerships in Action: The Promise of Change (2021) and Teachers’ Worlds’ and Work: Understanding Complexity, Building Quality (2017).

    Helen Victoria Smith is Assistant Professor in the School of Education, University of Nottingham, UK, where she is course leader and English lead for the Primary PGCE.

    Ruth Graham is an Assistant Professor at The University of Nottingham, UK. She joined the research project in 2021, following her own experience as a teacher and subject lead within a primary school during the pandemic.

    Despoina Athanasiadou is a PhD candidate in the School of Education, University of Nottingham, UK. She is a part-time tutor for the Educational Leadership and Management MA programme.

    This is a book packed full of irresistibly powerful stories from teachers as they faced the consequences of the pandemic.  We hear of doubts, fears and exhaustion but ultimately this is a book that emphasises hope and the power of teacher collegiality.  A great reminder of all that our profession stands for.

    Dame Alison Peacock, Chief Executive Chartered College of Teaching, UK

    This insightful, scholarly book deserves full attention from anyone who cares deeply about improving the work and lives of teachers and enabling them to remain enthusiastic, dedicated and passionate about the difference that they strive to make in their daily classrooms. Using real stories from real teachers in real schools, the authors remind us how physically, intellectually and emotionally challenging the teaching profession is and how deeply and profoundly the unprecedented pandemic has tested the strengths of teachers’ professionalism and capacity to serve. However, and perhaps most importantly, these stories also give us hope and promise because, in many ways, they reinforce an old truth about teachers and teaching: although schools alone cannot address the structural disruptions caused by the pandemic, in such testing times, they represent an oasis of hope where many knowledgeable, committed and caring teachers have learned to give their best to inspire the learning and achievement of young minds. As such, this book represents a new landmark in the continuous building of knowledge space on why and how teachers matter. 

    Qing Gu, Director, UCL Centre for Educational Leadership, UCL Institute of Education, UK

     This book is impressive and timely. It makes a compelling case of how teachers responded to one of the most difficult challenges of their lives.  Based on rich longitudinal empirical evidence,: Teacher professionalism during the pandemic: resilience, courage, and care shows the complexity and multidimensionality of teaching and the significance of relationships in teachers’ work and wellbeing. It presents inspiring stories of courage, commitment and hope that clearly demonstrate who teachers are, what they do and why. This is a valuable contribution to the field and a must read book for all those who are interested in better understanding teachers’ work and lives.

    Maria Assunção Flores, Editor, European Journal of Teacher Education, University of Minho, Portugal

    Mostly, it seems, when addressing the effects of Covid-19 on education only bad news follows. Drawing on a two-year study involving journal writing and online interviews of 36 English primary and secondary teachers in 6 primary and 3 secondary schools, Teacher Professionalism During the Pandemic: Resilience, Courage, and Care complicates and repaints part of the picture. Not all news, it turns out, is bad news. In fact, following the initial “extreme turbulence” caused by the pandemic, as reported, many teachers rediscovered “what it means to be a committed professional in challenging times.” Speaking for themselves, many of the teachers report developing new skill sets, reemphasizing the place of relationships and relationship building with children and their families as central to the work of teaching, gaining greater appreciation of and respect for their colleagues and school-building administrators so that trust grew, and rediscovering the moral reasons so central to teacher identity that initially led them to becoming teachers. Despite the challenges that came with the pandemic and the herculean effort needed to protect the children and to care for their well-being in dangerous times, the story told is one of human resilience, courage and commitment and as such is inspiring and hopeful. 

    Robert V. Bullough, Jr. Emeritus Professor of Teacher Education, Center for the Improvement of Teacher Education and Schooling (CITES), Brigham Young University, USA and Emeritus Professor of Educational Studies, University of Utah, USA