March 2008


Samuel J Smith

Primary Subject Area

Education, Educational Psychology; Education, Sociology of; Education, Teacher Training


calling, training, motivation, vocation, spirituality, spiritual


The job of a teacher undergoes more scrutiny and accountability with each passing year. The esteem for the profession and extrinsic rewards do not increase commensurately to the ever growing challenges that teachers encounter. It therefore raises the question what motivates a teacher to enter such a profession? Many teachers in the profession say they answered a calling to teach. This phenomenological study examined the role that spirituality plays in persons choosing a career in education. Participants were chosen from college students who were in their methods semester of training. The participants were interviewed, and the dialogue was analyzed for themes that could be uncovered from their experiences. The themes that were revealed in this study correlate to spirituality playing a vital part in the participants’ process toward becoming a teacher in the following aspects: the calling experience as a process, the esteem for the teaching profession as a calling, and the use of spirituality for affirmation.