Professional Dispositions and How to Deal with Students Who Are Not Demonstrating Them

You are likely highly aware of the professional dispositions that are expected of teacher candidates, but do you know what to do when a student has gone beyond not demonstrating them to violating them? The information below is a reminder of how each disposition is defined and the policies for dealing with students who have violated the dispositional requirements.

Positive Outlook: Candidate demonstrates behaviors that reflect the traits for the work of a teacher on a daily basis, for example, the belief that all children can learn, cheerfulness, praise of others, finding good in most situations, seeing possibilities rather than obstacles, responding to challenges, laughing easily, and seeing crisis as opportunity. Candidate demonstrates genuine enthusiasm and optimism.

Intellectual Integrity: Candidate demonstrates the ability to foster trust among and between students, colleagues, school-based teacher educators (SBTEs), and professors by maintaining a high level of reliability. Demonstrates sound moral character; is truthful, honest, and sincere; is fair and just in all situations with all students.

Respect: Candidate is respectful to school staff and faculty, professors, and colleagues; respectfully self-advocates when necessary; takes the time and energy to show compassion and empathy for students, colleagues/classmates, SBTEs, and professors.

Self-Awareness: Candidate demonstrates an appreciation for differences among people; has a strong ability to interact, work and be with people who have characteristics different from self, and continually seeks opportunities to learn more about others’ perspectives; is open to considering the myriad of new attitudes, beliefs, ideas, and opinions that are encountered in the school environment.

Dedication: Candidate does not become frustrated easily but chooses to stick to a task until the task is done at a high level of competency; independent and continually uses, develops, and adopts a wide range of personal and professional resources; consistently solves problems drawing on his or her own abilities and knowledge for their solutions.

Disposition Policy Guidelines for Departments, Candidates, Faculty and Staff (2012-current)

Contents of the Policy Guidelines
Background and Definitions
Roles and Responsibilities
Candidate Rights
Dispositions Policy Website
Time Schedule
Dispositions Transgression Report Form
Reports and Letters

Highlights from the Policy
Please read the full policy when dealing with an actual disposition transgression. Timelines and procedures for entering the process are specific.

  • Faculty or Staff members inform the candidate that they are in violation of a level 1, 2, or 3 disposition transgression (within 5 days of learning of the transgression)
  • All transgressions are first reviewed by a departmental committee
  • The departmental committee will decide if the transgression was unfounded or founded. If found,
  • Level 1 and 2 transgressions lead to the development of a retention plan
  • Level 3 transgressions lead to dismissal from the program and ineligibility in other education programs that lead to certification
  • Students charged with transgressions have the right to appeal.
  • Those charged with Level 1 and 2 transgressions appeal to their department chair.
  • Those charged with Level 3 transgressions appeal to the Associate Dean of the PEU (listed as Executive Director in policy documents).