Date of Award

Fall 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Education


Department of Education

Primary Advisor

Dr. Katrina Hutchins

Second Advisor

Janet Deck

Third Advisor

Dr. Kristie Searcy


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the transformation of the education system in a rural-distant Missouri high school in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Seven content-area educators participated in the study. Data was collected through interviews and archival documents. The data analysis revealed three themes: transition to virtual learning, the new classroom experience, and emotional impact. Within those themes, participants described specific institutional and curricular changes that were made, and the emotional impact that the COVID-19 teaching experience had on them. Results of the study indicated that teachers felt very alone navigating through all of the educational changes. As schools develop and revise emergency plans, they should consider including a teacher support system and open communication amongst teachers, staff, and administrators. As the COVID-19 pandemic continued, this study may serve as a foundation to compare changes that occurred in schools across the United States (U.S.), as well as any possible trends in the emotional impact on educators.