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Teaching as a Vocation

Updated on June 19, 2013

One of the most important things that teachers should always keep in mind is the fact that teaching is not only a profession but also considered as a vocation. None of them could become effective and efficient teachers if they will only work for the sake of the degree that they have earned in college or just for the sake of the salary they get from their employers.

So that we can see why teaching is considered as a vocation, first, let’s take a look at the difference between profession and vocation. According to the Oxford dictionary, “profession” is a paid occupation that involves prolonged training and a formal qualification while “vocation” is a strong feeling of suitability for a particular career or occupation, especially regarded as worthy and requiring dedication. If we are going to see the difference between this two, profession is more of the work needed to be done for a salary. In contrast, vocation is more of the work that needs to be done not for salary but for service. And if we will be evaluating those two words deeper, both of them involve work but only one emphasizes dedication – which is vocation. Yes, anyone can become a sales lady but not everyone can become a priest. Anyone can work over time but not everyone can go to mountains and serve those needy people. Therefore, a vocation is only for some who are really dedicated not just to work but also to serve other people.

Teacher Mark is treated as a teacher for teaching his students the lessons every day. He teaches everything he knows, showing off his mastery of the subject, but not even considering the feelings of his students towards difficult topics. On the other hand, a volunteer named Joy is addressed as a teacher for teaching and serving the children of a far rural community. She travels almost 20 kilometers everyday for the sake of her students learning and development. Who do you think practices teaching as a vocation? That’s right, it’s Joy. Although Mark is doing everything professionally as a teacher, still he forgets something which is more important than teaching. And that is service, which Joy really shows in her deeds towards her work and towards the people whom she’s working with.

Teaching is technically a profession where it normally involves occupation and the salary that is being awarded to a teacher after hard days of work. However, unlike any other profession, it requires dedication and service in order for an individual to be considered as a real teacher. That’s the reason why teaching should not just be treated as a simple profession but also a serious vocation where other people and service is over self and salary.


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      cha 3 years ago

      Yah nurses too

    • dianetrotter profile image

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 5 years ago from Fontana

      I spend more time with my students than regular people. lol!

      They look for my car every morning in the parking lot. I was a few minutes late so one called me on the cellphone. I told him I was right around the corner. When I leave, I am escorted by a straggling student. Profession, vocation, momma/grandma, mentor, and whatever they might need at the time.

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Teaching is definitely my vocation from your definition. I love teaching - I love the light in the eyes of my students when they "get it" - I love helping them understand something that was not easy for them to understand - yep...I love teaching!