Consecrated Religious Teaches Children Life Skills

Sister JulieAnn Sheahan

May 21, 2017

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Community Director Sister Natalie Binversie reflects on the life of Sister Anne Brochtrup, especially her years as a teacher of the primary grades. Read the entire reflection here: Franciscan Sister Anne Brochtrup’s Reflection

Over her many years of teaching, methods changed and new ideas of how to educate were introduced.  Sister Anne adapted to these changes while maintaining high educational standards.  Besides teaching the students reading and other academic skills she taught them life skills such as how to tie shoes, pull up socks, put on and buckle boots, zip or button coats.  Other teachings were the gentle reprimands to learn good social skills.  Some of Sister Anne’s typical statements and teaching techniques are found in the following quotes from a Post-Crescent newspaper article interview November 22, 1981.

  • To help develop listening skills, “Now we aren’t going to whisper while others are reading.” And another, “Let’s put our pencils to sleep in the desks while we listen.”
  • To teach a polite behavior, “What happened to the ‘thank you’?”  A child responded, “I’ll help you look for it!
  • To teach appropriate behavior when a first grade girl was kissing first grade boys who did not appreciate these advances, “Jamie, I think you should save your kisses for mommy and daddy.”  Well,” Jamie said, “I have plenty more than that.”  Sister Anne admitted that all of her methods did not always work! 

Wherever Sister Anne was missioned for her 53 years of teaching she found children to teach and love.  I quote her, “Where could I be so close to my Maker as when I teach a child to read or guide his/her hand in writing, so that someday he/she might write a book!”  In the end her deepest desire was to help mold and form the character of each child to help them love God more. (Children’s photos by Sister Carol Seidl, St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School, Casa Grande, AZ)

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