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It is often said that teaching is a vocation…

And it’s a description that we are Portals to the Past fully subscribe to!

More than an occupation

By using the word vocation, people typically mean that teachers have a calling to their particular profession – a strong urge to do what they do.

I would go as far as to say that many teachers have a love and a passion for their work. An innate desire to share their love of learning and of a subject. It’s not an occupation where you can simply turn up, go through the motions and collect your salary – you have to give a piece of yourself to it every time you step into the classroom, but in return you get so much back.

Striving to inspire

There are some occupations where it is possible to switch off from work at the end of the day, but teaching isn’t one of those. Of course, a bit of downtime is healthy, but teachers I know are constantly thinking about their work.

It’s the nature of education – we are always striving to inspire and to get concepts across, so when you see a good example or read an interesting article you immediately start to consider if and how you might be able to integrate it into your own teaching.

Immersion in the past

In the case of our time travellers at Portals to the Past, they are fascinated by history and often have a certain affinity with a given period such as the Romans or the 1940s.

They immerse themselves in that era and are constantly discovering new things about their chosen time – discoveries they can feed back into their teaching. It’s an approach that keeps them stimulated as teachers and ensures their sessions stay fresh.

Many jobs rolled into one

Teaching is not easy – just look at the workload alone.

There’s the research and lesson planning that goes on each day: the activities we devise, the quizzes we make up; the thinking on our feet; the checks we make to ensure that all pupils are involved and engaged. There is work to mark, feedback to give, parents to liaise with. Teaching is many jobs rolled into one. But when a lesson goes well and you see the children enthused, their imagination working and their intellect firing – you know that it is all worth it.

That why we teach and that’s why teaching is a vocation.


To find out more about how Portals to the Past can enhance your history teaching call us on 0800 112 3192.