Job vs Vocation

I have long preached that the job we do in preschool is a vocation and not a job.  We don't go into this field for the money.  We don't go in this field for the recognition.  If you got into Child Development or Preschool teaching for either of those things, you are in the wrong field and need to leave immediatly.

No, we came into this field because it called to us.  We have something to give to the children and families and only want the best for them.

Most teachers will tell you that their money goes right back into the classroom.  Not only that, but their hearts and time go right into the classroom and children as well.  You just can't get away from it.  We CARE about what we do!

Often times, our families may suffer for it.  I'm lucky, my husband suffers for the job I do, but since he is a preschool teacher as well, he doesn't notice because he's doing the same thing I do...focusing on those children and families.

Here's a scenario for you:

A child in your classroom has antibiotics that needed to be given at 12.  You are putting children down for a nap and notice that the office staff didn't come yet to give that dosage.  Unable to contact the office to remind them, you gather your things for a break.  You walk over to the office to check out and mention that the child didn't get her medication.  You check the refrigerator and see it's there and does in fact need to be given.  There is one person in the office who really is subbing and is the only one there.  What do you do?

Well, if this is a JOB you turn to that person and say, "She didn't get her medication.  Would you like me to clock back in and go give it to her?"

If this is your VOCATION you turn to that person and say, "She didn't get her medication.  I'll stop on my way out to lunch and give it to her real quick, if that's okay."

Do I, as an administrator, expect the vocation response?  No...and yes. 

My response to the vocation response is, "No, go enjoy your lunch, I'll make sure she gets her dosage right now."

However, inside I think, "Yeah, that's a preschool teacher for you.  She'll go to the ends of the earth for her children, even if she loses half her lunch break."

It's a tough predicament to get into in this field.  See, those of us who know this is a vocation, also know that there are laws and legalities that we have to follow...but sometimes we just can't turn it off.  Sometimes we walk into a store, see a huge train puzzle and think, "WOW!  Alex R would L O V E that!  I have got to get that for him!  I can't wait to see his face!"

What we don't think is, "I wonder if they'll pay me back for this, should I call my supervisor and ask?  No, I'll just bring in the reciept and she'll just have to pay me for it."

That look on Alex R's face is MORE than enough for us!


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