Professional Dispositions

Professional dispositions include the values, commitments and ethics that influence behaviors toward students, families, colleagues and communities that affect student learning, motivation and development, as well as the educator’s own professional growth. Dispositions are guided by beliefs and attitudes related to values such as caring, fairness, honesty, responsibility and social justice. For example, they might include a belief that all students can learn, a vision of high and challenging standards, or a commitment to a safe and supportive learning environment (NCATE, 2002).

The professional dispositions adopted by TLEL complement the College of Community and Public Affair’s Ethics and Integrity Policies and Procedures by focusing on the expectations for teacher candidates and individuals in advanced preparation programs during field experiences. The faculty members developed the TLEL Professional Dispositions from the standards advanced by New York state and national organizations, as well as content and specialization areas. Additionally, a number of stakeholder groups gave feedback on the items included, providing a means to confirm their validity as the dispositions expected by teachers, administrators and teacher educators of novice teachers.

The professional dispositions expected of all teacher candidates include an ability to

  1. Demonstrate a commitment to learning and diversity.
  2. Build rapport and serve as a strong role model to peers, colleagues and learners.
  3. Display effective communication skills (oral and written) in all settings.
  4. Demonstrate professional competence and conduct.

All teacher candidates are expected to demonstrate these professional dispositions consistently, especially during course and fieldwork opportunities. To ensure all teacher candidates demonstrate these dispositions, the TLEL faculty members have established mandated checkpoints throughout the preparation program. These checkpoints provide an opportunity to elicit feedback from course instructors, cooperating teachers, and university supervisors on any dispositional concerns. Teacher candidates are also provided with a number of opportunities to self-evaluate how well they these professional dispositions.
Professional dispositions will be assessed by cooperating teachers/placement coordinators (e.g., Liberty Partnership coordinators) and university supervisors in each field experience requirement. Additionally, course instructors will assess professional dispositions informally in courses.
Teacher candidates must receive a final rating of “acceptable” for admission and advancement in teacher education programs. If a teacher candidate receives an "unacceptable" rating in a field experience or from a course instructor, he/she must complete another field experience successfully before advancing in the program and/or before applying for the internship semester.

Use this form to document the concern and email it to the Field Education Office in TLEL.