Teachers are especially bound by public perception, because their work is to deliver a public good, and there is much emotional charge surrounding the nature and execution of that work. It is good to remind others that those individuals are still humans, with a whole human experience, but also that they need support — public educators, in particular, are often expected to be surrogates for all the tutelage, guidance and compassion that a child would normally gain growing up in a community but are rarely given the resources to accomplish more than a fraction of their actual job duties, let alone compensate for deficits in their students’ lives.
Carrying the idea across, though: in many professions, there is a public perception of what the job is — what it entails, what its adoption says about an individual — that ignores the larger narratives of what role the job fills or who the people in those jobs are. Few jobs, beyond medicine, (active duty) military and education, necessarily take over so much of a person’s life. They need not be seen, however, as the definitions of those lives. The argument can be made that no job is a calling, even if its functions touch on a person’s chosen purpose, because they are ultimately choices made as part of a larger context.