Pandemic Pivots in Teacher Education: Creating and Sustaining the New Normal


  • Christopher Clinton University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
  • Maureen Hall University of Massachusetts Dartmouth



Pandemic Pivots, Social Emotional Learning (SEL), SCARF Model, lectio divina, Sustainability


This article documents how one Teacher Preparation Program (TPP) at a medium-sized public university in the northeast responded to the needs of their urban partners during the global COVID-19 pandemic. The adaptation of this school-university partnership involved improving relationships where the TPP is more responsive to the needs of this urban school district. This article showcases how two colleagues created pandemic pivots in their graduate courses for in-service teachers. These pedagogical examples, or pandemic pivots, knit together technology and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and create a more inclusive and more equitable new normal. Moreover, these pandemic pivots leverage programmatic mechanisms to sustain this new normal. The sustainability and success of this partnership makes use of stakeholder feedback loops which are both programmatic and interpersonal. Through institutionalizing these feedback loops, we create programmatic sustainability with the ability to dynamically meet the needs of our partners. The integration of SEL and technology pedagogical practices illustrated here are the result of programmatic structural changes driven by the voice of our partners, showcasing the design of our TPP.

Author Biographies

Christopher Clinton, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Founder of three different school programs: Pilot School, Charter School and Innovation School.  Educator in K-12 for 24 years.  Consultant work with the Massachusetts Elementary and Secondary Department of Education has resulted in the states development of the Candidate Assessment of Performance (CAP) and the Massachusetts Educator Evaluation System.  He is currently serving the department as the Chair designee.

Maureen Hall, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Dr. Hall holds a Ph.D. in English Education from the University of Virginia and joined the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in 2003. As a Professor and Teacher Educator, her work focuses on the intersections between and among literacies, mindfulness, Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Teacher Leadership. She has published more than 20 articles in peer-reviewed journals, along with many edited chapters. Her books include Transforming Literacy (Emerald Publishing, 2011) with Dr. Robert P. Waxler, The Whole Person (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019) with co-editors Drs. Jane Dalton and Catherine Hoyser, and she is the lead editor of her newest book entitled, Academia from the InsidePedagogies for Self and Other (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021). Her spiritual education home is in northern India at Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya (DSVV), a place she first visited when she was a Fulbrighter in India over 2010-2011. She derives great joy from her collaborative work with colleagues and students both near and far, and, after taking refuge in northern Vermont during this pandemic, she now understands how the “wilds of nature” sing to her soul and help to keep her healthy and strong. 


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