The evolving research on teacher dispositions and the inclusion of dispositions in teacher educational standards indicate the importance of teacher dispositions for teaching and learning. Indeed, the value of both subject matter knowledge and quality pedagogical skills have been proven through numerous study instruments in the field of education. Still, researchers have not reached a consensus about what makes an effective teacher, and how to evaluate teachers for the much less quantifiable ways that their dispositions impact how students in their classes learn. Examining teachers' perceptions and self-assessments is a critical first step to cultivating teacher efficacy and practice. To address this dearth in the scholarship, this descriptive study explored the perceptions of in-service teachers from two large urban school districts in California and Texas with regard to teacher dispositions and effective teaching practices. Teacher perceptions were also examined by teacher characteristics such as race, teaching experience, grade levels taught, and work location. The study used a modified version of the Teacher Dispositions Index (TDI) survey instrument to have teachers rate the importance of teacher disposition, and Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) as its guiding framework. Both served the researcher's effort to examine educator beliefs and revealed that the populations of teachers studied believed that the most important disposition for effective teaching was the ability to stimulate students' interests and to encourage self-expression. Moreover, findings indicated that teaching context is an important variable affecting teacher dispositions and perceptions. The data revealed significant differences in teacher perceptions and dispositions between teachers of different grade levels.