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Teaching as Your Vocation, Mission and Profession

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Elizalyn De los Santos

on 27 November 2013

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Transcript of Teaching as Your Vocation, Mission and Profession

Teaching as Your Vocation, Mission and Profession
Etymology of the word "vocation"
Vocation
comes from the latin word "
vocare
" which means "
to call
". Based on the etymology of the word, vocation, therefore, means "a call".
Teaching as your Vocation
Perhaps you never dreamt to become a teacher!
Mary said:
"Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to your word".
Etymology of the word "mission"
Teaching is also a mission. The word mission comes from the Latin word "misio" which means "to send". You are called to be a teacher and you are sent into the world to accomplish a mission, to teach. The WNCD defines "mission" as "task assigned". You are sent to accomplish an assigned task.
Dear Teacher:
I am a survivor of a concentration camp.
My eyes saw what no man should witness:

-Gas chambers built by learned engineers.
- Children poisoned by educated physicians.
- Infants killed by trained nurses.
- Woman and babies shot and burned by high school and college graduates.

So I am suspicious of education.
My request is: Help your students become human.
Your efforts must never produce learned monsters, skilled psychopaths and Eichmann's.

Reading, writing, arithmetic are important only if they serve to make our children more human.

For Christians, the Caller is God Himself.
For our brother and sister Muslims, Allah.

Believers in the Supreme being will look at this voiceless call to have a vertical dimension.
Non-believers, the call is also experienced but this may viewed solely along a horizaontal dimension.
It is like man calling another man, never a Superior being calling man.


We know of Abraham, the first one called by God, to become the Father of a Great Nation, the nation of God's choosen people.
We recall Moses who was called while in Egypt to lead God's chosen people out of Egypt in order to free them from slavery.
We know of Mary who was also called by God to become the mother of the Savior, Jesus Christ.
We are familiar with Muhammad, the last of the prophets to be called by Allah, to spread the teachings of Allah.
Buddha must have also heard the call to abandon his royal life in order to seek the answer to the problem on suffering.
But here you are now preparing to become one!
How dit it happen?
From the eyes of those who believe, it was God who called you here for you to teach just as God called Abraham, Moses and Mary of the Bible.
YES!
The fact that you are now in the College of Teacher Education signifies that you positively responded to the call to teach, right?
May this YES response remain a YES and become even firmer through the years.
Teaching as your mission
Teaching is your mission means it is task entrusted to you in this world. If it is assigned task then naturally you've got to prepare yourself for it. From now on you cannot take your studies for granted! Your four years of pre-service preparation will equip you with knowledge, skills and attitude to become an effective teacher.
Never commit the mistake of culminating your mission preparation at the end of the four-year pre-service education. You embarked in a mission that calls for a continuing profesional education.
As the saying goes,
"once a teacher, forever a student".
What exactly is the mission to teach?
Is it merely to teach the child the fundamental skills or basic r's or reading,'riting, 'rithmetic and right conduct?
Is it to help the child master the basic skills so he/she can continue acquiring higher-level skills in order to become a productive member of society?
Is it to deposit facts and other information into the "empty minds" of students to be withdrawn during quizzes and tests?
Or is it to "midwife" the birth of ideas latent in the minds of students?
Is it to facilitate the maximum development of his/her potential not only for himself/herself but also for other?
In the words of Alfred North Whitehead, is it to help the child become "the man of culture and of expertise"?
Or is it "to provide opportunities for the child's growth and to remove hampering influences" as Bertrand Russel put it?
To teach is to influence every child entrusted in your care to become better and happier because life becomes more meaningful.
To teach is to help the child become more human.
Mission accomplished!
This is what a soldier tells his superior after he has accomplished his assigned mission.

Can we say the same when we meet our "Superior" face to face?

Some teachers regard teaching as just a job. Others see it as their mission.

What's the difference?
Teaching: Mission and/or Job?
If you are doing it only because you are paid for it, it's a job;
If you are doing it not only for the pay but also for service, it's a mission.

If you quit because your boss or colleague criticized you, it's a job;
If you keep on teaching out of love, it's a mission.

If you teach because it does not interfere with your other activities, it's a job;
If you are committed to teaching even if it means letting go of other activities, it's a mission.

If you quit because no one praises or thanks you for what you do, it's a job;
If you remain teaching even though nobody recognizes your efforts, it's a mission.

It's hard to get excited about a teaching job;
It's almost impossible not to get excited about a mission.

If our concern is success, it's a job;
If our concern is success plus faithfulness, it's a mission.

An average school is filled by teachers doing their teaching job;
A great school is filled with teachers involved in a mission of teaching.

.Adapted from Ministry or Job by Anna Sandberg
The Elements of a Profession
Teaching like engineering, nursing, accounting and the like is a
profession
.

A teacher like an engineer, a nurse and accountant is a
professional.


Hon. Hermogenes P. Pobre
in his pithy address in a national convention of educators remarked: "The term professional is one of the most exalted in the English language, denoting as it does, long and arduous years of preparation, a striving for excellence, a dedication to the public interest, and commitment to moral and ethical values".
Teaching as your profession
Because the end goal of a profession is service and as well have heard many times "we cannot give what we do not have". We can give more if we have more.
"Do more, have more in order to be more!
For us to be able to give more, continuing professional education is a must. For us teachers, continuing professional education is explicit in our professionalization lawand our Code of Professional Ethics.
His Holiness Pope Paul VI affirmed this thought when he said:
If you take teaching as profession, this means that you must be willing to go through a long period of preparation and a continuing professional development. You must strive for excellence, commit yourself to moral, ethical and religious values and dedicate yourself to public service.
The "pwede na" mentality vs. excellence
The
"striving for excellence
" as another element of a profession brings us to our
"pwede na"
mentality, which is inimical to excellence.

This mentality is expressed in other ways like
"talagang ganyan 'yan", "wala na tayong magagawa",
all indicators of defeatism and resignation to mediocrity.

If we stick to this complacent mentality, excellence eludes us.
In the world of work whether here or abroad, only the best and the brightest make it.

The mortality rate in the Licensure examination for Teachers for the past ten years is a glaring evidence taht excellence is very much wanting of our teacher graduates.
If we remain true to our calling and mission as a professional teacher, we have no choice but to take the endless and the "less traveled road" to excellence.
Teaching and a life of meaning
Want to give your life a meaning?

Want to live a purpose-driven life?

Spend it passionately in teaching,
the most noble profession.
Dr. Josette T. Biyo, the first Asian teacher to win the Intel Excellence in Teaching Award in an international competition, said in a speech delivered before a selected group of teachers, superintendents, DepEd officials and consultants, to wit:
Teaching may not be a lucrative position. It cannot guarantee financial security. It even means investing your personal time, energy, and resources. Sometimes it means disappointments, heartaches, and pains. But touching the hearts of people and opening the minds of children can give you joy and contentment which money could not buy.
These are the moments I teach for
.
These are the moments I live for.
Summary
Teaching is a vocation. For theists, it is a calling from God worthy of our response. For atheists, it is a calling without a vertical dimension. Teaching is also a mission, an ssigned task. We are expected to write our "accomplishment report" at the end of our mission. Teaching is also a profession. It is our way of rendering service to humanity. The quality of our professional service is determined to a very great extent on our long and arduous period of preparation, continuing professional education and our commitment to ethical and moral values. If we give professional quality service, then mediocrity has no place. If we live up to our name as a professional teacher, a meaningful and fulfilled life will not be far behind. No doubt this can readily happen when teaching has become your passion.
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