A Principal’s Vocation – Embracing Spiritual Gifts in Education

Vocation: a strong feeling of suitability for a particular career or occupation. 

Do I have a job?  Do I have a vocation?  Do I have an occupation?  I am currently serving in my 28th year in public education in the state of Nebraska.  I just started my 13th year as a 6th-12th grade Principal.  That is my job, my vocation, and my occupation.  I was blessed with the skill or gift of conflict resolution but I was also taught how to get along with others.  You see, the people that are part of our lives that ‘teach’ us those things are also gifts just like the gift of a skill or a talent.  I am NOT uniquely qualified for this job or vocation…as a Principal.  There are others that serve schools across this state and this country that are outstanding leaders!  They may have been blessed with some of the same gifts or talents that I have and they also may have a totally different skill set.

Where is this going, you may ask?  I do believe that we need to have ‘a strong feeling of suitability’ in order to have an impact and meet everyday challenges.  If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.”  That’s the message.  You have gifts.  We all have gifts.  We also all have challenges.  We are equipped to be successful in an occupation.  For me, it’s connecting with others and working to get them to be a positive, driving force for themselves and eventually for our school community.  I believe that Relationships impact culture and culture impacts results.  Relationships are built by understanding and complimenting the strengths and weaknesses of others.

We all have ‘suitability’ for something.  At times, we may be in a situation that we may not understand.  But, if we trust that we have the gifts and the skills to ‘get through it’ that just prepares us for what is coming next.  As you experience your vocation, occupation, or your job, please allow the ‘peace that surpasses all understanding’ keep your hearts and minds in a healthy and productive place!




Brad Jacobsen is currently the 6-12 Principal for Ashland-Greenwood Middle School and Ashland-Greenwood High School.