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Teaching: A Professional Vocation

Interested in attending the next Teaching Vocation Conference? Register here.

“The mind,” Plutarch wrote, “is not a vessel that needs filling, but wood that needs igniting.” The teacher’s job, then, is not so much transferring data about the world from his mind to the students, but leading them to fall in love with the world that they see as good. The same is true for preparing teachers: what is needed is to light a fire. 

There is no better man to light such a fire for the teaching vocation than Heights Headmaster Alvaro de Vicente. In this week’s episode, Mr. de Vicente addresses the attendees of the 2022 Teaching Vocation Conference, introducing them to teaching as a vocation and a profession. He offers his thoughts on what it means for work to be a vocation, what it means for work to be a profession, and why it is that teachers are called to work that is both a profession and a vocation. Finally, our headmaster shares his thoughts on how we can tell whether the classroom is for us, or rather, whether we have been made for the classroom.


  • 3:05 Introduction to the topic
  • 4:07 What is teaching?
  • 7:52 Out of intellectual ignorance, but also moral ignorance 
  • 12:55 Every school teaches morality 
  • 16:00 What is a vocation?
  • 22:35 The vocation of a teacher 
  • 27:18 Not a bad audience: you, your pupils, your friends, God 
  • 29:30 The need for teachers
  • 30:10 The field of life 
  • 32:15 The need for male teachers 
  • 32:35 Discerning the teaching vocation 

Also on the Forum 

Guidance for Aspiring Teachers with Alvaro de Vicente

On Preparation for Teaching: Six Attributes of Great Teachers with Colin Gleason

Why Teach? An Introduction to the Teaching Vocation with Rich Moss

The Art of Teaching with Rich Moss

About the Guest

Alvaro de Vicente

Headmaster, The Heights School

In addition to his responsibilities as headmaster of The Heights, Alvaro acts as a mentor to high schoolers, and teachers senior Apologetics.

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