Jenny Litterer


Steve Siemens, “the people builder,” visited with us, the faculty and staff of Sacred Heart School, prior to the start of the new school year. He delighted us with numerous jokes and anecdotes about life and then reminded us of a common phrase that many people live by, Murphy’s Law: “Nothing is as easy as it looks. Everything takes longer than you expect, and if anything can go wrong, it will, and at the worst possible time.”

He encouraged us to live by hislaw: “Nothing is as hard as it looks. Everything is more rewarding than you expect, and if anything can go right, it will, and at the best possible moment.” 

Over the course of the last year, we have worked to develop a positive mentality, reinforced by Mr. Siemens and continue to instill a new habit in our students: to find and appreciate the joy in our lives. 

So how does one develop a habit of positivity and gratitude? 

It happens just like anything else… through daily practice! At Sacred Heart, every classroom has a picture frame with the beautifully embellished question, “Where did you find joy today?”

At the end of each day, students are asked to share the good things that occurred throughout the day.

“We had recess today!”

“I did well on a test!”

“I made a new friend today!”

These ideas are documented, reflected upon and cherished over the course of the week. This daily routine focuses our energy on the goodness in our lives and sets aside those instances that can develop negative mentalities. 

The positive habit is beginning! 

As adult members of the school, we realize that we set this stage. We set the tone every day. When students see adults who are laughing and supporting one another, they learn from these subtle teachings.

“More is caught than taught,” Siemens said of student learning. Beginning each day with a positive outlook gets us headed in the right direction — toward a highly successful day. 

Again, Mr. Siemen encouraged us, “Let go of the need to complain about life. Spend your moments actually living its beauty.” 

Signs are hung in hallways, classrooms and offices to remind us that negativity is not allowed here. Positive and encouraging messages are scattered throughout the school. 

We encourage all adults who are part of the life of a child, to focus on the joy. When children are nurtured in this type of environment but are still held accountable, their successes will have no end. Give hugs and praise. The impact is far greater than we realize.