Although a relatively small number of K-12 students are currently enrolled in online classes, the dramatic growth in online enrollments in recent years suggests that online education will play a significant role in the future landscape of public education. While our understanding of online teaching and learning continues to grow, relatively little is known about the experiences of teachers as they engage in online teaching. In particular, very little is known about the concerns of teachers as they navigate their teaching roles and responsibilities in an online teaching environment. Using an interpretative phenomenological analysis approach, this qualitative study explored the concerns of seven online K-12 teachers through video interviews and bi-monthly journal entries. The findings in this study resulted in six themes with associated sub-themes. These themes suggest that online teachers are highly concerned about themselves, their roles, and their students, along with concerns found at the intersections of these areas. Additionally, this study reveals that the political, educational, and organizational contexts surrounding these online learning environments significantly influence the development and degree of teachers' concerns. The implications of this research encourages greater dialogue between teachers and online educational leaders to better understand teacher concerns and mitigate the negative impact of these concerns on online teachers.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Instructional Psychology and Technology



Date Submitted


Document Type





distance education, elementary secondary education, secondary teachers, teacher attitudes, online courses, qualitative research