These dispositions have been adopted by the UWEC School of Education in the belief that they represent the foundation of teacher candidates, and are measurable over time. We expect growth through programs on the following dispositions.
Definition: State of Being; Prevailing tendency, mood or inclination; Tendency to act in a certain manner under certain circumstances.
1. The candidate believes that all humans have worth.
Key word – ALL.
There is a tendency to “like” the students who mirror our personal values. As teachers, we work with everyone – the smart, the not so smart, the clean, the challenged and the gifted – the entire spectrum of our communities. We must put aside our prejudices and see the worth of every child placed in our care. We must learn to love each learner irrespective of like or dislike, and persevere in our efforts to teach them.
2. The candidate is a committed advocate for all children and youth.
Connected to the first disposition, and related to all learners, can you take a stand that is unpopular with parents, other students, faculty, and administrators because it is in the child’s best interests? Do you have the capacity to follow the appropriate steps and chain of command in order to facilitate long-term change?
3. The candidate consistently demonstrates an enthusiasm and passion for teaching.
Passion is the drive to achieve something important. Passion changes behaviors in the need to accomplish something important. Enthusiasm is the joy in which the journey is undertaken. It includes personal setbacks, hardships, frustrations and failures. Passion and enthusiasm are the foundation for perseverance – where what you want is more important than what you currently have. In the case of teaching – this is represented by student learning and growth.
4. The candidate demonstrates personal and professional ethics in all aspects of professional practice.
Teachers must be aware of their thoughts, beliefs and values. They must be willing to assume the ethics of the teaching profession in thoughts, communications and deeds. They must realize that they are role models and what they do supercedes what they say. The professional teacher has a single set of ethics which is congruent with both their personal and professional personas.
5. The candidate is committed to providing effective teaching practices for all learners.
Master teachers also view themselves as master learners. They understand that the profession of teaching is a dynamic field with new skills and new understandings
emerging regularly. They see their own learning as a professional responsibility in their effort to make learning meaningful to each and every learner.
6. The candidate views school improvement efforts as essential elements of professional practice.
A “school” only learns and changes when the individuals within a school learn and change. Each classroom is a microcosm of the school – the relationships, learning patterns and structures and power issues. To be an effective collaborative leader, each person must bring their own strengths to all roles that exist in a school – teacher, committee member and professional development opportunities. Each individual is responsible for the learning of the whole school.
7. The candidate values participation in collaborative processes as a significant form of leadership.
The value of working together is grounded in the belief that we know / can do more together than we can as a collection of individuals. We agree to search for deeper solutions that exemplify win-win solutions rather than settle for compromise. Commitment to working together supercedes the urge to “just get it done by yourself.”
8. The candidate is an independent, self-directed learner who views their own learning as a growth and discovery process.
Learning never ends and is the responsibility of each individual. The school provides only the foundation, the jumping off point for individual connections and commitment. Master teachers realize that as the teaching profession changes, they as individuals will have to learn and change. They will be required to rethink, review and relearn skills, techniques and perhaps even philosophical beliefs that will impact their thoughts and actions. They take responsibility for their own learning.
9. The candidate is a reflective practitioner who incorporates research and professional literature into efforts to improve practice.
Reflection may be described as the ability to take new information, new experiences and new perspectives and use them to modify or recreate personal thoughts, beliefs and actions. It may therefore be described as a measure of an individual’s ability to learn deeply. Reflection calls upon the ability to be self-aware – to view one’s own thoughts, values and mental models and to have the courage to consider alternatives.
10. The candidate takes reasoned risks in order to do and learn more.
Committed learners understand that failures are part of the learning process. Each experience provides important information as to what was done well and what needs to be learned / emphasized next. Risk is seen as a measure of individual creativity as well as commitment to the learning process.
These dispositions define what it means to be a collaborative teacher.
1. Strives for shared understanding
- Asks clarifying questions for self and/or group needs
- Solicits responses from all parties
- Paraphrases for better self and group understanding
- Redirects counter-productive participation
- Demonstrates active listening during collaborations
2. Seeks beneficial solutions
- Seeks input from and works with others to describe current condition
- Works with others to determine need for change
- Considers other’s ideas and perspectives to generate possible solutions and meet multiple needs
3. Accepts responsibility for self and takes on responsibility for others
- Accepts and seeks out responsibility for tasks
- Advocates for other’s needs, regardless of personal beliefs/needs
- Actively seeks out assistance from others to meet identified needs
4. Displays perseverance for projects and interpersonal relationship management
- Actively seeks out others for contributions in order to make change and persist with tasks
- Acknowledges all participants contributions, concerns, and ideas
- Depersonalizes negativity from others and contributes positive responses
5. Demonstrates a passion for excellence
- Active and positive member of groups
- Uses excellence in a context of learning to collaborate with and influence others
- Celebrates group successes
- Exhibits an appropriate sense of humor, a positive manner, and enthusiasm during interactions