What is a Gift?

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By Randy Helfman


The holiday season always seems like the appropriate time to reflect on the “gifts’ we receive in our lives. After almost 20 years of being an instructor at the Arizona School of Real Estate & Business (ASREB), I thought it may be an appropriate time to reflect on the gifts the school has given me.

What is a gift? We often think of gifts as something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation. It can be just as gratifying to give a gift as it is to receive one and a gift can also describe a talent or special capacity.

There is no shortage of gifts at ASREB. During my time at the school, I’ve interacted with a high degree of talented instructors and students that come from a variety of backgrounds. We share the gift of knowledge and experiences with each other daily. Everything said or discussed is a learning opportunity that can only add value to everyone involved – what a gift.

Recently, a student entered my contracts class and told me she was considering dropping out of the real estate program. After class, she told me she changed her mind. She was experiencing difficulties with some courses, but my class just clicked with her and made sense. She just attended a class prior to mine that was obviously not in her wheelhouse. The student went on and earned her license – I enjoyed watching her succeed. Did we both receive a gift? The greatest gift an instructor can receive is to hear that students pass the school and state exams. When a student tells me that he/she heard my voice while taking the tests, I understand their pain, but I just received the gift of a smile to last the entire day and also a gift of knowing my teaching style made a difference.

A warm “hello” from staff, students and instructors has been a gift. In addition to questions and thought provoking ideas from students. Nothing is better than a discussion about dual agency and its relationship to stigmatized property.  I receive insights and examples relating to fair housing regularly that improves my teaching and makes for more stimulating classroom discussion.

Laughter in class – and it never matters who gave this gift because students and instructors all benefit. This is one of my favorite gifts to give.   

There are so many other examples I can mention. Really, the greatest gift of all is spending two decades sharing my knowledge through teaching and giving people a chance to enter into a new career.

Happy Holidays to All and thanks for the gifts.

Randy Helfman has been an instructor with the Arizona School of Real Estate & Business for nearly 20 years. He has taught a wide range of courses ranging from Continuing Education, New Home Sales and Basic Real Estate.