WINNIPEG -- With the indefinite closures of Manitoba classrooms amid the pandemic, many educators have to change the way they teach their classes, and two local researchers are trying to find out how these teachers are coping with this stress.

Close to 800 teachers from across Canada have been participating in a University of Winnipeg Faculty of Education survey, which aims to find out how they are navigating the schools closures and the pivot to teaching from a distance.

“One of the best ways to make a positive difference for students is to make a positive difference for teachers,” Laura Sokal, one of the lead researchers, said in a news release. “If we want to figure out the best ways to support teachers in coping with stress and increasing their efficacy when teaching during a pandemic, we should ask them.”

The survey was launched on April 22, and within a week the U of W said it received close to 800 responses. The survey will be collecting responses until May 6.

The research team will also be doing follow-up surveys in June and September, as well as phone interviews.

The researchers said the goal is to use the information to make evidence-based recommendations for future pandemic waves.

"Given that subsequent waves of COVID-19 are expected, it is important to understand the demands being placed on teachers so they can be equipped with the resources they need to help students succeed,” Lesley Eblie Trudel, another lead researcher on the project, said in a news release.

Trudel said if teachers have adequate internal and external resources, it will lead to better health and well-being for them and have a positive impact on student achievement.