Nixon, Andy; Dam, Margaret; Packard, Abbot
December 2010
Planning & Changing;2010, Vol. 41 Issue 3/4, p210
Academic Journal
School principals sift through a milieu of data, perceptions, and circumstances to determine which teachers are worthy of contract renewal. This paper provides a review of the research on the role that teacher dispositions play in principals' decision-making regarding contract renewals, as well as a theoretical perspective on the implications for the identification and development of dispositions during teacher induction years. The paper offers practical suggestions to principals regarding which dispositions are most vital, and also offers strategies for principals to influence disposition behavior. A teacher may hold professional knowledge and or skills but simply not possess the disposition to act. This may manifest itself in behavior such as not grading papers in a timely manner, using unfair grading procedures, disregarding students' special needs, assigning inappropriate homework, failing to consider or allow various viewpoints in the classroom, and acting unethically, dishonestly, or illegally. If the presence of certain dispositions serves to judge a teacher as ineffective and worthy of contract non-renewal, it is a useful exercise to explore the role that school principals have in the assessment of teacher dispositions, particularly during the hiring process. While greater scrutiny of teacher dispositions during the selection process is most effective, the early identification of teacher dispositions may provide the opportunity for appropriate mentoring and guidance during the induction years, including a focused plan for teacher growth and effectiveness.


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