Teachers are called amidst their already busy schedules to be more
than knowledge transmitters. They can pick up on the signs of
a vocation in their students. Students send out these signals
as they tackle tough academic and life issues. As a teacher,
you have been gifted with the opportunity to respond to your
students and to touch
their lives by example, by listening, and by providing meaningful
How to spot signs of a Religious Vocation in the classroom
Qualities for Middle
School students ...
Or relating well with others
and interest in serving others
to take a stand for the truth
for High School students ...
relationship with Christ and His Church
others as well as self
Cooperativeness in teamwork
and a healthy sense of humor
How to encourage vocations in the classroom.
Although how you promote vocations is as individual as each teacher
and the student, the SPARKS acronym and a list of personal
characteristics applicable to ministry may provide a starting point
for developing your own action plan.
Spot the signals, using the characteristics listed in this
Pray for the ability to see your students as God sees them.
Pray specifically for those students who have qualities of potential
Accent discovery. Encourage students to explore opportunities
to help others at school, at home, in the Church, or in the
community, either individually or through involvement in service
projects such as working in a meal program, a pro-life activity, or
holding a clothing drive.
Reach out. Even amidst the time constraints of curriculum
requirements and your schedule outside the classroom, be open to
conversation about vocations. If you notice a student with gifts
applicable to ministry, ask if the student has ever thought about
ordination or religious life. With a studentís permission, talk to
his or her parents about your observations.
Keep communicating. Develop a list of people who are willing
to answer your students questions about the priesthood or religious
life. Make vocations a part of "career day" in your school or
classroom by inviting one or more speakers (ordained, religious,
seminarians, novices, etc.) To talk about vocations. Have up-to-date
vocations resources visible in your classroom and handouts or
brochures readily available.
Support the process. Foster a classroom environment in which
the call to ministry is respected-where it is okay to consider a
religious vocation. Integrate vocations into your other lesson
plans. For example, use priests or sisters in math story problems.
In language arts, use vocation questions as journal topics.