Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Lorrie Butler

Second Advisor

Carla Sparks


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers nationwide were encouraged or required to teach on a bimodal platform, forcing them to create lessons, deliver lessons, and build student relationships in a way they had not experienced before. The purpose of my study was to investigate the strategies teachers were using to build relationships with students in a bimodal environment and compile a comprehensive list of effective strategies that leaders could utilize in professional development for other teachers. The context of this inquiry was a sixth through eighth grade middle school in an urban school district. I used a mixed methodology using qualitative and quantitative data. I compared extant data from two years of student surveys of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Competencies. I also surveyed teachers and interviewed teacher leaders. My study demonstrated outcomes supporting the importance of building relationships with students, using best strategies in building relationships, and what is needed by teachers to teach successfully using the bimodal platform. Building on the results of my study, I made recommendations for a policy change that would require professional development for teachers to address student engagement, use of technology, and relationship building in a bimodal platform.