I found this prompt awaiting me on one of the blogs I subscribe to —

So what are dispositions? They are the core values, ideas, and notions – the underpinnings of your being as a teacher – that shape your beliefs, intentions, and actions. And they are reflected in your beliefs, intentions, and actions. Our dispositions can be tricky to navigate. It takes a lot for us to truly examine what we value and how those values hold water when examined in conjunction with our beliefs, intentions, and actions. But it is imperative for us to constantly reflect to see if these dispositions we want to claim really do hold water.


  1. I can teach everyone to write better. I don’t care if the child is gifted or new to this country. I can help them make progress. I can help colleagues too.
  2. English / Language Arts – Mine is the most important subject. If you can’t communicate, you can’t know everything in the world and no one will hear or want to hear.
  3. Effort matters. I know there are those who are suspicious of Carol Dwecks’ growth  mindset stuff. And with good reason. I remember reading something by Stanley Crouch. He said something like, “8 x 8 is 64, and I don’t care what happened at your house last night.” 8 x 8 is 64 and I do care what happened.
  4. I have to know my students in order to teach them. This is not always my strong point. I am always floored by what other teachers tell me about students we share. I had more success when I had students keep journals. Maybe I should go back to that? But I have to know more than just their skill levels.
  5. Reading fiction (and drama and poetry) matters. In this era, when non-fiction is being stressed, we have to remember fiction (and creative writing, for that matter). Imagination matters. Creativity matters. Empathy matters. Not as job skills. In order to be a good, complete person.
  6. Every single one of my students is worth my best effort and worth fighting for. I may not love them all every single day, but the love has to be unconditional.
  7. Once my student, always my student. Want help in a later grade? In college? Working on your resume? I’m still here. My name is on you. You are still my student.
  8. The public education system is, at its core, racist. I’ve tried private schools. This is where I belong. Students need to know someone believes in them. Someone who shows up. It is also useful that I’m male.

And yours?