Cumberland University

Professional Teacher Dispositions

The School of Education and Public service encourages teacher candidates to develop dispositions that enhance professional success. According to the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education glossary, teacher dispositions are “professional attitudes, values, and beliefs demonstrated through both verbal and non-verbal behaviors as educators interact with students, families, colleagues, and communities. These positive behaviors support student learning and development.”

The dispositions specifically identified by the Interstate New Teacher Support and Assessment Consortium are numerous, and are listed here and identified under each standard with a number and a “D.” Teacher candidates are expected to model positive teacher dispositions in their interactions with faculty, peers, and during field experiences and student teaching.

Assessment of Candidate Dispositions

Teacher candidates’ dispositions are assessed throughout the program at Cumberland University. Assessment of dispositions occurs formally at the Teacher Education Progression (TEP) Phase I and Phase II interviews.  

At the TEP I interview, candidates must submit one Dispositions Ratings sheet. At this checkpoint, the form may be completed by an advisor or CU faculty member.

At the TEP II interview, candidates must submit two Dispositions Ratings sheets.  At this checkpoint, one form must be completed by a teacher or other educator at a field experiences site. The other may be completed either by an other educator or by a CU faculty member.

To see what these dispositions ratings forms contain, please visit the Assessment Systems overview page of this handbook. To have dispositions ratings forms completed for you - ask those individuals to email Karen Hobson at the School of Humanities, Education, and the Arts at  to request a link.

Dispositions Referrals

Faculty across the university may use at their discretion a Dispositions Referrals form to document the dispositions of teacher candidates. Should teacher candidates demonstrate exceptional dispositions (positive or negative), faculty throughout the University are encouraged to note those dispositions on a Dispositions Referral form for the candidates file. These documents will be reviewed at Teacher Education Progression checkpoints and may be made a part of the decision making process. If warranted, a report of dispositions may result in the Referral process detailed in the documents below.

Dispositions Referral Procedure

Dispositions Referral Form

Disposition Hearing Procedures

Teacher Candidates who do not demonstrate the professional dispositions that indicate the potential for success in the classroom may be denied a student teaching placement and may have to complete their degree without teacher licensure.