Murray State Theses and Dissertations


During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, Kentucky educators discovered the difficulties of a rapid transition to emergency remote teaching. This phenomenological, qualitative research study explores middle and high school teachers’ lived experiences of teaching Kentucky public school students during the shutdown of school buildings during the spring and fall 2020 semesters.

Twenty-nine educator participants freely discussed their greatest successes and barriers concerning parental support, teacher mental health, communication, digital divides, student motivation, and teacher preparedness. This project gives voice to the teachers of Kentucky with a practical significance: effective online instruction can only occur if educators are properly prepared to teach online.

P-20 implications included innovation, implementation, diversity, and leadership opportunities for educators. Although the data is retrospective, the research is avant-garde. Future research in the form of legislative requirements, additional participants, or student layered data can be studied to catalyze the research that began in this dissertation.

Keywords: emergency remote teaching, Kentucky, online learning, pandemic, pedagogy, phenomenological, professional development, teachers, virtual teaching

Year manuscript completed


Year degree awarded


Author's Keywords

Emergency Remote Teaching, Pandemic, Kentucky, Education, Virtual Teaching, Online Education

Dissertation Committee Chair

Randal Hugh Wilson

Committee Chair

Tim Todd

Committee Member

Stephanie Hendrith

Document Type