Venerable Fulton J. Sheen, considered the gift of his priesthood a great treasure that was housed in a the humble clay vessel of his life.
verse from 2 Corinthians so affected his life that he used it as the title for his autobiography.
As part of my classroom's study of Fulton Sheen and our continuing study of virtue and holiness, I wanted to create a place for encouragement for all of the students. I want them to know that they are treasures, gifts of God, that have value and worth and are loved, despite the fact that all of us are housed in "clay" vessels.
So I got them each a little clay pot (3 for $1 at the Dollar Tree, fyi), and wrote on the outside "(name) is a Treasure in Clay." We sent them up in an unobtrusive place in the classroom, where they hopefully won't get broken...and we are filling them with little bits of, well, love.
I am not calling it that, however. "Little bits of love" would not go over so well with 5th grade boys. We putting "Treasure in Clay Sheets" inside the clay pots. The idea is that the students will write little notes to one another, anonymously, when they see them do something showing what a treasure that they are. This is especially great as we work on developing a specific virtue each week. (Read about that here and here and here.)
I like the way that this little encouragement system is just that- encouragement. It really has nothing to do with me, is not about behavior management, and ties in so well to learning more about being children of God.
I know that everyone has a card or note we have saved and we pull it out to read when we need a bit of sunshine on a blue kind of day. I am hoping that these little notes, and the message of being a treasure in an earthen vessel will resonate with the kids and become something that they remember.
I hope you try this idea in your classroom or with your family!
Click here for the printable Treasure in Clay sheets: