(Photo credit: http://bit.ly/2mxSooj)
This was a phrase I heard some 35 years ago. At the time it seemed to be so outdated. I wanted to be the modern teacher the one who planned, prepared and executed! No ‘religious calling’ for me! But the older I have got the more I have seen it again and again – teaching really is a calling for those great teachers, if it isn’t it can be the most painful job in the world.
One thing that teaching does require is undying dedication to want to help others. No teacher can last long if they are only in it for the money, the hours and the power they may get dominating a group. All that is extremely short-lived. The reason for this calling has everything to do with humanness and the level of this in our everyday classroom.
Whether you are teaching children or adults, the mass in front of you is a massive load of human ideas, thoughts and feelings. The kinds of concepts you are teaching can be anything from technical processes or grammar, right through to learning how a simple tone of voice can change a whole level of communication in any area. These are skills, that though are all considered part of the ESL curriculum, in the long run you are teaching and guiding people on how to be winners and leaders in their field.
These kinds of matters are usually left into the hands of angels (so to speak!), but in fact angels in the guise of teachers!. The greatest teachers are the ones we feel had the greatest impact on us. They allowed us to see the most in ourselves and somehow connected with us in a way that was beyond that of a machine. Something else happens when the teachers have a calling – and something that both the students and the teacher gain from.
There are many sayings in all cultures about ‘teaching someone how to do something’, is one of the greatest virtues around. But someone who takes on this task on a daily basis is truly someone who has been called by a greater force.
So here’s to the teachers – the angels of our real world – and let’s celebrate this profession as a calling rather than just a job – teachers are the real people who make a difference to everyone.