“I miss seeing the kids!”: Australian teachers’ changing roles, preferences, and positive and negative experiences of remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic

Publication Name

Australian Educational Researcher


The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant upheaval in schools in Australia and internationally. The aim of this study was to map Australian teachers’ positive and negative experiences during remote and online learning. Our study took place during the first COVID-19 wave, in the early stages of lockdown. Using an online instrument, we asked 210 primary and secondary teachers about changes in their teaching roles due to COVID-19. Responses were coded for positive and negative themes using inductive thematic analysis. The majority of teachers reported negative themes (88.6%), while half also reported positive themes (44.8%). Participants reported missing their students and struggling with excessive workload demands. They also experienced difficulties tracking student progress and felt worried for student wellbeing. Interestingly, concerns about technology were less common. Indeed, 19.1% enjoyed learning new online skills and integrating IT in new ways. Implications for student–teacher relationships, mental health, and future teaching are discussed.

Open Access Status

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Link to publisher version (DOI)