Managing Expectations in a Pandemic and “Getting Back to Normal”


  • Kristie A. Abston
  • Helen A. Soter


Faculty around the world are getting back to teaching in ways that resemble life before COVID-19 closed everything down in March 2020. Still, many things involved in teaching are far from “normal.” This paper explores the residual negative effects of faculty delivering and students receiving instruction exclusively via online, remote, or hybrid delivery modes for multiple semesters. Student and faculty professionalism behaviors changed dramatically, and expectations shifted as everyone tried to roll with all the changes. We discuss the stress and well-being issues faculty continue to face as they navigate managing expectations while a new normal emerges, including setting boundaries to offset the always-on feeling that became normal during the pandemic. We share observations from two business professors at different universities in the United States and discuss our strategies and suggestions from research that are aimed at helping faculty find a healthier, more sustainable balance. This paper extends our previous work on student professionalism behaviors. At the conference, the authors will use part of the presentation time to engage attendees in a discussion about their own experiences with this important topic.






Innovations and Future Directions in Education