Thursday, January 7, 2010

Vocatio - "a summons"

The original meaning of vocation in 1426 was "a call from God to follow a spiritual way of life." The word comes from the Latin vocatio meaning a call or summons.

I'm back to teaching this week and loving it. I love working with young people and their families to help them grow and succeed. That said, teaching is very exhausting emotionally for me.

I teach special education in an alternative setting. I work for a publicly funded charter school that provides services for families who are essentially "homeschooling." Working together with families and children to come up with the best way to meet their special learning needs is fantastic.

It meets my needs too. I don't handle the stress of the full time public school world very well. I work part time as an "independent contractor" with the charter school and therefore arrange my hours with the families I serve. If I want to plan lessons at 2 am, then that's what I do. The other day I planned my lessons on a notebook in the goose blind.

So, my students are wonderful. I work with each student one-on-one and they are each so different and unique. I have a student who, just out of the blue, decided to do a powerpoint biography of John Muir, one of my heroes. This student does "service learning" with the National Forest Service. I met with another younger student this week for the first time. We got some work done, then just chatted and drew and got to know each other a little better.

I get to use the skills and the patience that God has given me to best serve these families. The students and families, in turn, teach me. I grow and learn each day. I start each day with a prayer that I may be of service to these kids. I pray that I may bring a little knowledge and light and love into their lives.

I am truly blessed to have a job that I love so much. It is truly a "calling" in the Latinate sense of the word.

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