What to do in the Classroom
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 feedback.
How to spot signs of a Religious Vocation in the classroom
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 guide.
Pray for the ability to see your students as God sees them. Pray specifically for those students who have qualities of potential Church leaders.
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 conversations 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 student’s 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.