The most powerful marketing tool we have for encouraging young Christians and career-change Christians to consider teaching as a vocation for the gospel is ourselves- the educators! We are modelling our faith each day and we have opportunities to speak about why we love our work (mostly!) What opportunities do we have each day? How we can positively advocate for our students to thoughtfully consider training as a teacher?
Anglican EdComm is currently producing a digital pack for release in 2018 that will be suitable for schools, universities and parishes to use for advocacy as we pray for the ‘right’ Christians to train and fill the gaps in our schools with committed and high quality people. EdComm Exchange will provide links when the material is live.
The shortage of Christian teachers is a collective issue for us – click through on the links below to source material that you may use at a chapel service, in a Christian studies lesson with a focus on what we are called to do for the gospel, as part of Education week – or during Science week or Mission day, in CRU groups… so many possibilities to spend 10 -15 minutes reflecting on vocation.
Christian Teachers Transform Lives
'Each of us has been gifted with a profile of talents. Being faithful to God means using these to the full as opportunities arise. To make the right choice of career you need to think carefully about two things:
Firstly, you must understand yourself. You need to know the skills and abilities that you have. It is very important to be honest with yourself about this - you will probably need other people to help you. Take time to talk to God and your family, your friends, your teachers - anyone who knows you well. Get them to tell you what you are good at.
Secondly, you must understand what teaching is all about. What sort of person makes a good teacher? Yes, you have to develop skills in planning lessons, teaching, classroom management and marking. But you don't want to start a teacher training course and discover that you aren't the right sort of person for the job.’
Teaching as a vocation
http://www.westyorkshiredales.anglican.org/education/teaching-as-a-vocation Accessed online 24/8/17
Links for further reading and resources
1. An example of the material of the Transforming Lives site… http://www.transforminglives.org.uk/thinking-of-teaching Accessed online 24/7/17
2. Thinking about Teaching By Trevor Cooling
‘The central idea in the Transforming Lives Toolkit is vocation. It is not a word that is widely used today, and is often misunderstood when it is. Surveys amongst Christian teachers reveal a suspicion of the term; they see it as reflecting an amateurish approach where poor pay is justified on the grounds that one is ‘working for God’. In recent conversations I have been told more than once that younger teachers simply don’t use the term. This is a great loss, not least because it perpetuates the idea that there is a sacred/secular divide in life which keeps the life of faith firmly in the box of our private world. Commitment to God can become a leisure time activity that doesn’t impinge on the public world of work.’
3. Teaching as a Christian Vocation By Minori Nagahara
‘Regardless of the role to which their abilities and “deep gladness” lead them, teachers soon discover that their profession demands tremendous effort and commitment. Hope, grace, and hospitality are the keys to their flourishing amid the obstacles and frustrations that could breed disillusionment.’
http://www.baylor.edu/content/services/document.php/86522.pdf Accessed online 24/8/17