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Eight Dispositions Of The Effective Teacher & How To Acquire Them

Teachers are the most significant variable in determining the quality of education.

Besides knowledge and skills, effective teachers should have a certain set of dispositions.

So, to be an effective teacher you need a certain body of knowledge, set of skills, and set of dispositions.

What Is A Disposition?

A disposition is a person’s inherent qualities of mind and character. It is a state of mind that makes a person act in certain ways.

A disposition is not a behaviour so we cannot observe it but we can observe behaviours that seem to reflect certain dispositions.  

The Main Eight Dispositions of Effective Teachers

Teachers’ dispositions are often determined by their own personal philosophy of teaching.

Grant and Gillette (2006) identified the following eight dispositions of effective teachers:

  1. Understanding and accepting themselves.
  2. Being able to accept criticism.
  3. Willing to change.
  4. Having open minds and being free from prejudice.
  5. Desiring to learn new things.
  6. Having a well-constructed philosophy of education and using it as the basis of teaching.
  7. Having a multicultural view of learning and human development.
  8. Knowing and connecting with the community in which they are teaching.

This list is not exclusive; rather, I use it to simply start the conversation.

So, the questions to ask are: Do you think there are more dispositions that effective teachers should have? What are these other dispositions of effective teachers from your point of view?

Leave a comment below or email me at eltguide@gmail.com

How to Acquire These Dispositions to Be an Effective Teacher

Always think of how to reach your full potential as a teacher. Then, learn how to be in a good relationship with yourself, others, and the community.

Let me ask you the following questions to help you:

  • Who are you?
  • Do you feel satisfied with yourself?Why/Why not?
  • What do you value?
  • What do you believe?
  • What is your passion?
  • What brings you joy?
  • What does the teaching experience mean to you?
  • How do you like to learn?
  • How do you view teaching?
  • How does this view manifest in your classrooms?

A general body of knowledge and a set of teaching skills are necessary, however, you cannot separate these two dimensions from your human experience.

We are human beings who happen to be teachers and learners, not teachers and learners who happen to be human beings.

And what mainly makes us human is our capacity to think reflectively, imagine, dream, create, intuit, emote, and wonder.

No doubt that these human dimensions are present in our act of teaching and learning.

So, it would make sense that we should try to develop these humankind qualities in our classrooms.

But, sadly, because they can’t be quantified and tested, they are left out of most curricula and lesson plans.

But, effective teachers are able to utilize their authentic selves to create meaningful learning experiences for their students to transform their lives in all dimensions.


The primary role of effective teachers is to enable students to discover and embrace their central self and develop their interests and unique abilities to the greatest extent possible.

Curricula, for effective teachers, are just a means to this end, not an end in itself.

Internal states (emotions, intuition, consciousness, ideals, and values) are always present in effective teachers’ assessment of their students.

Effective teachers always hold themselves accountable to:

  • Assess students’ movement toward personalized goals.
  • Examine the extent to which their students engage in meaningful learning experiences.

Moreover, effective teachers always examine the degree to which they engage in teaching practices that are based on theories and research, and their own field experience has proved that these practices are effective.

Thanks For Reading

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