August 6, 2011 in Faith Matters by David Waters
Teaching is an occupation. It’s also a vocation, a calling.
What’s the difference?
An occupation often is about the money. A vocation is never about the money. An occupation is what people do to make a living. A vocation is what people do for the living. An occupation is what the market values. A vocation is what God values.
We asked a number of local teachers to explain why they see Teaching as a Calling or Teaching as an Act of Faith.
Click on the links to read their responses:
JAMES A. SPRAGGINS
unemployed teacher and administrator
Teaching is loving and serving one’s neighbors: I am a product of the Memphis City Schools System and I am proud of that fact. When I say “product,” I mean more than a graduate. My paternal grandmother, mother, father, aunt, uncle, a plethora of family members, church family and my parents’ friends all were either teachers or administrators. I grew up listening to educational stories, commiseration, and praise and pity parties. I served the Memphis City Schools System in the classroom and as an administrator for 17 years, so I feel qualified in saying that teaching is both a calling and an act of faith. I was called to teach. I served my students every day by providing them the tools to learn, think critically, develop the skills required for their futures, and cultivate strong relationships that provide a sense of belonging. (Click to read more)
Seventh grade language arts
The Soulsville Charter School
Becoming a blessing to Memphis’ children: C.S. Lewis, one of my favorite authors, once stated, “There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, “All right, then, have it your way.” I had to be the latter before I became the former.
A few months after graduation from Christian Brothers University, I found myself with no job and no direction. I took a few sales jobs, as that is what my marketing degree compelled me to do. Some opportunities I undertook after graduation were financially lucrative, but none were personally fulfilling. I had no idea where my professional career was headed. I saw my inability to secure a rewarding job was a reflection on me.
The problem was not in my resume. It was in my heart. (Click to read more)
Expressions of Faith: ‘Precious Lord’ by Lee Cagle