Essential Dispositions are professional attitudes, values, and beliefs demonstrated through both verbal and nonverbal behaviors as educators interact with students, families, colleagues, and communities. These positive behaviors support student learning and development. Dispositions may be assessed based upon observable behaviors in educational settings. These professional dispositions are critical to successfully implementing the Utah Effective Teaching Standards and successfully teaching the Utah Core Standards.
Utah Effective Teaching Standards
Standard 1: Learner Development
The teacher understands cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional and physical areas of student development.
- Respects learners' differing strengths and needs and is committed to using this information to further each learner's development.
- Is committed to using learners' strengths as a basis for growth, and their misconceptions as opportunities for learning.
- Values the input and contributions of families, colleagues, and other professionals in understanding and supporting each learner's development.
Standard 2: Learning Differences
The teacher understands individual learner differences and cultural and linguistic diversity.
- Believes that all learners can achieve at high levels and persists in helping each learner reach his/her full potential.
- Respects learners as individuals with differing personal and family backgrounds and various skills, abilities, perspectives, talents, and interests.
- Values diverse languages and dialects and seeks to integrate them into his/her instructional practice to engage students in learning.
Standard 3: Learning Environments
The teacher works with learners to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, encouraging positive social interactions, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.
- Is committed to working with learners, colleagues, families, and communities to establish positive and supportive learning environments.
- Values the role of learners in promoting each other's learning and recognizes the importance of peer relationships in establishing a climate of learning.
- Is committed to supporting learners as they participate in decision making, engage in exploration and invention, work collaboratively and independently, and engage in purposeful learning.
- Seeks to foster respectful communication among all members of the learning community.
- Is a thoughtful and responsive listener and observer.
- Values flexible learning environments that encourage learner exploration, discovery, and expression.
Standard 4: Content Knowledge
The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structure of the discipline.
- Realizes that content knowledge is not a fixed body of facts but is complex, culturally situated, and ever evolving. He or she keeps abreast of new ideas and understandings in the field.
- Appreciates multiple perspectives within the discipline and facilitates learners' critical analysis of these perspectives.
- Is committed to work toward each learner's mastery of disciplinary content and skills.
- Recognizes the potential of bias in his or her representation of the discipline and seeks to appropriately address problems of bias.
- Values knowledge outside his or her own content area and how such knowledge enhances student learning.
- Is constantly exploring how to apply disciplinary knowledge to address local and global issues.
Standard 5: Assessment
The teacher uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, monitor learner progress, guide planning and instruction, and determine whether the outcomes described in content standards have been met.
- Is committed to engaging learners actively in assessment processes and to developing each learner's capacity to review and communicate about their own progress and learning.
- Takes responsibility for aligning instruction and assessment with learning goals.
- Is committed to providing timely and effective descriptive feedback to learners on their progress.
- Is committed to using multiple types of assessment processes to support, verify, and document learning.
- Is committed to the ethical use of various assessments and assessment data to identify learner strengths and needs to promote learner growth.
Standard 6: Instructional Planning
The teacher plans instruction to support students in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, the Utah Core Standards, instructional best practices, and the community context.
- Respects learners' diverse strengths and needs and is committed to using this information to plan effective instruction.
- Values planning as a collegial activity that takes into consideration the input of learners, colleagues, families, and the larger community.
- Believes that plans must always be open to adjustment and revision based on learner needs and changing circumstances.
- Is committed to deepening awareness and understanding the strengths and needs of diverse learners when planning and adjusting instruction.
- Takes professional responsibility to use short- and long-term planning as a means of assuring student learning.
Standard 7: Instructional Strategies
The teacher uses various instructional strategies to ensure that all learners develop a deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and build skills to apply and extend knowledge in meaningful ways.
- Values the variety of ways people communicate and encourages learners to develop and use multiple forms of communication.
- Is committed to exploring how the use of new and emerging technologies can support and promote student learning.
- Values flexibility and reciprocity in the teaching process as necessary for adapting instruction to learner responses, ideas, and needs.
Standard 8: Reflection and Continuous Growth
The teacher is a reflective practitioner who uses evidence to continually evaluate and adapt practice to meet the needs of each learner.
- Takes responsibility for student learning and uses ongoing analysis and reflection to improve planning and practice.
- Is committed to deepening understanding of his or her own frames of reference, the potential biases in these frames, and their impact on expectations for and relationships with learners and their families.
- Sees him or herself as a learner, continuously seeking opportunities to draw upon current education policy and research as sources of analysis and reflection to improve practice.
- Embraces the challenge of continuous improvement and change.
Standard 9: Leadership and Collaboration
Is a leader who engages collaboratively with learners, families, colleagues, and community members to build a shared vision and supportive professional culture focused on student growth and success.
- Actively shares responsibility for shaping and supporting the mission of his or her school as one of advocacy for learners and accountability for their success.
- Respects families' beliefs, norms, and expectations and seeks to work collaboratively with learners and families in setting and meeting challenging goals.
- Takes initiative to grow and develop with colleagues through interactions that enhance practice and support student learning.
- Takes responsibility for contributing to and advancing the profession.
Standard 10: Professional and Ethical Behavior
The teacher demonstrates the highest standard of legal, moral, and ethical conduct as specified in Utah State Board Rule R277-515.
- Understands the expectations of the profession including codes of ethics, professional standards of practice, and relevant law and policy.