Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Suha Tamim


The purpose of this study was to describe teachers’ perceived self-efficacy and related experiences in implementing a state-mandated Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) program during a global pandemic. Program implementation was initiated at the start of the 2020-2021 school year, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent extended school closures. Research questions included: 1) How do teachers perceive their sense of efficacy in implementing Social and Emotional Learning during a global pandemic? and 2) What are the experiences of teachers implementing Social and Emotional Learning during a global pandemic? Participants included nine middle school teachers who taught daily SEL lessons to their students. This study employed convergent mixed methods, where data were collected from a quantitative survey, semi-structured interviews, and classroom observations. Data analysis and triangulation were conducted to reach the following conclusions: Despite feeling stressed and anxious about returning to the new school year, teachers felt an above average sense of efficacy with teaching SEL. Teachers felt least able to influence the ongoing design of the program. They also agreed that more comprehensive training was needed when the program was introduced. An action plan contained the following next steps: comprehensive teacher training, expansion of the SEL curriculum, increased classroom observations, opportunities for teachers and students to provide ongoing feedback, and considerations for implementation of a similar SEL program for teachers.