A Gift Opens the Door

Whenever I feel like my class has lost its energy and students are all languishing–and that perhaps they’ve closed off their hearts to the joy of vivid verbs–I remember Proverbs 18:16. It simply says, “A gift opens doors; it gives access to the great.”

I needed the door to belonging, hope, and joy to open up in my classroom, and I needed access again to great students who sit there, exhausted and unmotivated. Would a gift do the trick?

I had to try something! And I kept thinking of Proverbs 18:16!

I wrapped up interesting Easter chocolates and tied the little packages with golden bows. It was simple and small. I chose frosting-filled Hershey Kisses and Waffle Cone Dove chocolates–both on sale along with spring-colored M&M’s. Armed with my spring gifts, I entered the early morning classroom and distributed my cheerful and unexpected present.

Delight! Fresh energy! Access again to the heart! Maybe it was the gift, or maybe it was the jolt of sugar, but we all seemed to come alive a little today.

“A gift opens doors; it gives access to the great.”

We have just a few classes left before the end of the semester, so I told students they should now come to every class–no matter how burned out, exhausted, or overwhelmed they feel–because you never know when a gift is coming.

On Friday, I’m bringing in the gift of Scratch Art paper to let students mindlessly and aimlessly doodle for 10 minutes as a wellness activity. These I also found cheap in large quantities. I had this idea from another professor who invites students to draw, go for a walk in nature, and sit and take deep breaths during long college classes.

We’re nearly home. Everyone needs little delightful gifts on the journey.

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