Most traditionally crafted teaching dispositions are STILL applicable and relevant to those of us educators who are focusing on creating 21st century environments and teaching 21st century skills because they are all encompassing. While teaching 21st century learners looks a lot different than teaching 20th century learners, there is still merit behind having a professional demeaner, providing a commitment to all learners, communicating, collaborating, self-reflecting, and being ethical. When we look at the big picture of teaching, the goal is to provide students with the skills and opportunities needed in life to open up the doors for a successful future.
Having a set of dispositions that supports teacher goals is ideal. While in our teaching practice, educators are opening up the doors for gamification, authentic learning, and project based learning it is important that teaching dispositions do not narrow down on specific strategies or tools. Technology, tools, and programs are constantly changing in the field of education and in the real world. By keeping a broad stance on the dispositions, educators can continue to develop their practice and keep up with the demands of the profession.
A few of the dispositions are generic to any professional field and are needed to maintain a safe and healthy work environment. Areas such as Professional Demeanor & Responsibility, Communication, and Ethics can and should be seen in any type of work place environment. As these are so important for any type of profession, it is incredibly important to educators to strive for Achieving marks in these areas so that they can be the role-model for students. Each of these also brings in a level of respect between students, teachers, and colleagues.
The other three areas are specific to the teaching profession and should be a continuous work in progress. Providing A Commitment to Learning for ALL Students, Collaboration, and Self-Reflection in a 21st century teachers work will genuinely open up doors for both the teacher and their students. We, as educators, need to be prepared for all learners in our classroom. Students should feel welcome and successful, and the only way to achieve that is to understand students’ individual learning needs. We also need to be collaborative with our Professional Learning Network, colleagues, and administrators if we want to develop a true Community of Practice or Professional Learning Community. Finally, it is beyond valuable for educators to be self-reflective. To grow, we need to understand our true strengths and areas of need. We need to schedule time to reflect and ask questions.
The broadness of dispositions allows educators to grow in their practice and keep up with the ever-changing world of technology and education.