Dean of Identity | Mr Charles Brauer

Work or Vocation?

How is a teacher in a Catholic school more than just a ‘teacher’? I am continually energised by my responsibilities with forming all members of our Terrace Family with respect to answering this question, including our teachers themselves. At the Week 8 juncture of the school term, with the marking and reporting piling up, it is with trepidation that I mention ‘teaching’ and ‘vocation’ in the same breath! However, a teacher in a Catholic school must never lose sight of the wonderful gift that their vocation is to the world, particularly our Terrace Family. Despite the urge to refrain from exploring this concept further during this busy time for teachers, amid the haste and noise is sometimes the best time to embrace perspective.

Early morning tutoring, House assemblies, Tennyson training, Tutor Group. These are all key settings whereby our teachers go beyond the call of duty. This seemingly extra work is not work at all. It is responding to the call of a Catholic school, enabling young people to develop wholly, ‘to have life and have it to the full’ (John 10:10). It is a vocation. In further exploring this notion, I came across the reflection below by Parker Palmer who is a renowned writer, speaker and activist who focuses on issues in education, community, leadership, spirituality and social change. As I read these words I was struck with the concept of vocation not centering on ‘doing’, rather, centering on ‘being’:

Vocation does not come from wilfulness. It comes from listening. . . That insight is hidden in the word vocation itself, which is rooted in the Latin for “voice.” Vocation does not mean a goal I pursue. It means a calling that I hear. . . I must listen for the truths and values at the heart of my own identity.

I understand vocation . . . not as a goal to be achieved but as a gift to be received. Discovering vocation does not mean scrambling toward some prize just beyond my reach but accepting the treasure of true self I already possess. Vocation does not come from a voice “out there” calling me to become something I am not. It comes from a voice “in here” calling me to be the person I was born to be, to fulfil the original selfhood given me at birth by God.

—Parker Palmer

One possible sign that something is your vocation is - would you do it for free, even if there is no reward or social payoff?

Whatever may be your job, profession or career, if it resonates with the essence of a ‘vocation’ then you are very lucky. You are listening and responding to your inner-voice, your truer-self. In this setting you are ‘giving life and giving it to the full’, just as our teachers do each and every day within our faith and learning community. 

Our Terrace Family is blessed with teachers who honour their vocation as a teacher with giving life to our Catholic community, particularly with giving life to our Terracians. May we never take for granted the extra effort, time and care our teachers give to our community without asking anything in return. Another sign of vocation in action.

Krispy Kreme Donut Fundraiser

Need that extra pre-exam snack?

Next Tuesday 12 June and Wednesday 13 June the Terrace ERA for Change group will be selling Krispy Kreme donuts to raise funds forThe Asylum Circle, a community organisation dedicated to assisting newly arrived people seeking asylum in Australia. The Asylum Circle works collaboratively with key agencies to enable better service delivery and provide support for projects around Queensland which improve the quality of life for newly arrived migrants. Terrace has proudly linked with this organisation as part of our aim to support an inclusive and welcoming community in the lead up to Refugee Week.

If you wish to pre-order purchase a box of glazed donuts, please email and drop your money into the Campus Ministry Office (next to the Chapel) by Monday 11 June.

Only glazed Krispy Kreme donuts will be on sale.

Prices are as follows:

  • $3 each
  • 2 for $5
  • 6 for $14
  • 12 for $25