TpT Educator Trend Report: December 2020 Results

This is the fourth in a series of blog posts based on the findings from our Education, Content, and Insights team about educators’ experiences during this unprecedented school year. For December, we looked back on trends in teacher confidence and morale, and changes in student enrollment.

Teacher confidence reached its highest point this year, while teacher morale continued to remain low.

For many of the teachers we surveyed at the start of the 2020-2021 school year, the rapid changes in instructional delivery, health and safety concerns, and school closures were exacerbating feelings of burnout and demoralization. As the school year progressed, we’ve continued to track teacher morale and confidence. Over the fall months, teacher confidence increased. In August, 37% of teachers said that they felt confident that they could provide effective instruction in their current learning model. Confidence rose to about 40% in September and November and reached its peak in December at 47%.

Teacher morale, however, has continued to remain low over time. In mid-August, 23% of teachers indicated their morale was high. That fell to 16% in mid-November, but moved back up to 20% in December.

More educators have moved to a blended or hybrid instructional model.

We’ve also been tracking the instructional models that teachers are using to see how districts are adapting to changing conditions. Over time, more educators have reported implementing a blended or hybrid model. 

In the beginning of the school year (August and early September) about 35% of teachers were preparing for blended or hybrid instruction, 24% for in-person, and 40% for remote. As the school year progressed, we saw the percentage of teachers in a blended or hybrid model increase to about 43% from mid-September to November, and then fall again to 35% in December with the approach of the winter break.

Teachers and students continue to face ongoing interruptions.

New survey data on student enrollment and movement, collected by TpT in partnership with The 74, points to the ongoing interruptions and uncertainty that teachers, students, and their families are experiencing this year.

  • Seventy percent of teachers have had new students enter their classrooms in the last two months. Of those, 14% stated that 11 or more new students had joined them since the start of the school year — nearly half of the class for teachers in some schools.
  • Forty percent of teachers indicated that at least one student has withdrawn from their school in the last two months. 35% said that 1-5 students have withdrawn, 3% said 6-10 students, and 2% said that 11 or more students had left their school. 
  • Over two-thirds of teachers reported that some students have been essentially truant for the last two months. More than half of teachers said 1-5 students have been truant, 9% said 6-10 students, and 8% said 11 or more students.

Learn more about students’ greatest needs this year in our November report, and check back soon for the latest research from Team TpT.

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