Tuesday, May 26, 2020

"Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well." Voltaire


Brainy Quote


I am a big fan of written thank you notes and notes of appreciation.

Last week, while cleaning out some files from all my years of teaching, I found several thank you notes from colleagues, all on the same beige stationery with matching envelopes.  Suddenly, I remembered the faculty meeting where that stationery was handed out, and we were asked to finish the faculty meeting by letting a colleague know they were appreciated by writing them a note.  I would guess that these notes are from somewhere around 1998, when we had a great principal who would create such a positive event.

As I read the words on those notes.my heart became so full, as if I were reading them for the first time.  Good feelings washed over me as I recalled helping one person with lessons when she were new; coaching another teacher on the golf course; planning social activities for the faculty, and so much more.  I really loved both teaching and the camaraderie of a great faculty.  I remember that I looked forward to going to school each new year, and every single day.

If you are a teacher or principal reading my post today, why not organize a "written appreciation"  event? Thank you notes and notes of appreciation are small reminders of what others see as good in us, and they should be kept in a desk drawer and read when the soul and spirit need to be refreshed and uplifted.  I am so glad I found these notes.  In this time of isolation and pandemic, I feel so blessed that I found notes of appreciation to take me back in time, and to remind me that in our school, we all made a difference - to each other, and to our students. 



As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. Rittman Publishing, LLC ®


Please invite Grady Gets Glasses (and me) into your school.  if you are not in the Pittsburgh area, we do virtual field trips with a group called Field Trip Zoom. www.Fieldtripzoom.com  and a company called www.StreamableLearning.com GRADY GETS GLASSES was the winner of Best New Children's Book 2016 and 2018 (new edition) from The Authors' Zone.Grady also won a 2018 prestigious Moonbeam Award for Best Children's Book with Merchandise.




Visit Dede's web page for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required readingSigned copies are available  www.dederittman.com Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics. 

I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books.  Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self.  However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired! 

Elementary teachers in Western Pennsylvania and beyond - I am willing to come into your classroom in person or as a virtual field trip through a group called Field Trip Zoom.  Check them out!  http://www.fieldtripzoom.com/ 

Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book.  I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies available for purchase in your classrooms following the reading.  Please email me at dederittman@gmail.com  The website www.gradygetsglasses.com now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!
 Please like Dede's new page Grady Gets Glasses for updates about her children's book. https://www.facebook.com/gradygetsglasses?ref=hl 

Connect with Dede!

Twitter       @dederittman
Facebook   Dede Faltot Rittman or Rittman Rules
LinkedIn   Dede Rittman
Google +   Dede Rittman
Tumblr      The Bunny Teacher
Instagram   dede_rittman  and Gradygetsglasses
Pinterest   Rittman Publishing, LLC ® 

Thursday, May 21, 2020

"Fear doesn't exist anywhere except in the mind." Dale Carnegie

 Quote Cites.com 

During this time of COVID 19, we have all been inside for more than 2 months.  When I was a child, America had a polio outbreak, yet no one was required to stay inside.  Same for the 1968 Hong Kong flu epidemic in our country.  I appreciate the seriousness of this issue, and in fact, I am in the group most at risk.  However, I strongly disagree with closing swimming pools and stopping summer activities like Little League this summer.  According to science experts, the virus cannot survive in the heat.   In my limited scientific knowledge, chlorine kills germs and viruses.  So why is Allegheny County closing the pools?

I was a teacher for 37 years, and I have spent my life devoted to kids.  I coached golf and directed shows, served on committees that helped kids, and I am a big fan of outdoor play, team sports,m and kids hanging out with friends - even at 6 feet apart. I am incensed that my county in Pennsylvania is not opening swimming pools and having team sports this summer.  

I am angry because childhood is when kids learn to handle real life, and the kids are being deprived of learning opportunities.  When children and teens spend time together playing sports, at the playground, at the swimming pool, and at camp, they are learning valuable life lessons.  All these experiences teach them how to assimilate and become a part of the culture, along with lessons about growing up.  Through Little League and other sports, they learn the value of becoming a “team player.” Additionally, they learn social skills and how to get along with others, and how to set and work toward a goal, be it a personal or a team goal.  These activities provide opportunities for personal growth and they provide opportunities for the emergence of leadership qualities in young people.  Summer activities provide the basis for kids to discover who they are, what they like, and perhaps, these activities will even lead to occupational choices in later life.  Kids learn to stand up for themselves through summer activities, as they grow and mature.

I have written a strong letter to my local officials and the Governor of Pennsylvania, asking them to re-think their position regarding summer activities. 70% of the deaths in Allegheny County have been in nursing homes, because officials sent patients with the corona virus back to the nursing homes instead of keeping them in the hospital.  Children should not be penalized for the lack of common sense with elected officials.

Let's let the kids be kids this summer.

Hoping you are doing well.  I would love to hear from you.  dederittman@gmail.com 


As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. Rittman Publishing, LLC ®



Please invite Grady Gets Glasses (and me) into your school.  if you are not in the Pittsburgh area, we do virtual field trips with a group called Field Trip Zoom. www.Fieldtripzoom.com  and a company called www.StreamableLearning.com GRADY GETS GLASSES was the winner of Best New Children's Book 2016 and 2018 (new edition) from The Authors' Zone.Grady also won a 2018 prestigious Moonbeam Award for Best Children's Book with Merchandise.




Visit Dede's web page for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required readingSigned copies are available  www.dederittman.com Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics. 

I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books.  Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self.  However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired! 


Elementary teachers in Western Pennsylvania and beyond - I am willing to come into your classroom in person or as a virtual field trip through a group called Field Trip Zoom.  Check them out!  http://www.fieldtripzoom.com/ 

Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book.  I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies available for purchase in your classrooms following the reading.  Please email me at dederittman@gmail.com  The website www.gradygetsglasses.com now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!
 Please like Dede's new page Grady Gets Glasses for updates about her children's book. https://www.facebook.com/gradygetsglasses?ref=hl 

Connect with Dede!

Twitter       @dederittman
Facebook   Dede Faltot Rittman or Rittman Rules
LinkedIn   Dede Rittman
Google +   Dede Rittman
Tumblr      The Bunny Teacher
Instagram   dede_rittman  and Gradygetsglasses
Pinterest   Rittman Publishing, LLC ® 





Wednesday, May 13, 2020

"To be doing good deeds is man's most glorious task." Sophocles

Brainy Quote

The pandemic is wearing on all of us, and perhaps because I am a widow and live alone, I am getting worn down.  This past Tuesday morning, Pittsburgh was very cold, but very sunny, and I decided that it would be my "good deed" day.  I ordered selected breads from Breadworks, picked it up, and started my journey.  I delivered favorite breads to a few friends from church who live 30 miles away from me; I delivered magazines to a friend who has mobility challenges; I filled the free little pantry in Tarentum with pasta and mac and cheese and corn muffin mixes and cans of pineapple; and I delivered a whole bag of old family pictures to a friend who did not even know I had them.  (This was all done with appropriate physical distancing.)  It was a wonderful day for me and for them!  

It felt good to make others so happy, and I was reminded again of what my mother used to say to me.  "When you are feeling down, the best thing to do to feel better is to do something for someone else."  She was right again, and as I think back on low times in my life when I practiced this adage, this action has never failed me.

So many of our friends are feeling depressed after 50+ days of isolation.  We miss seeing our friends, going to church, hugging our extended families, and eating out.  We miss going to work the "old way."  Teachers miss their students, and students miss their teachers. May I suggest that making a phone call, a personal visit at over 6 feet away, seated in a driveway, or baking a cake or pie for someone who is suffering will also lift your spirits!  No one knows how long this will continue, so we must find our own ways of sharing happy moments during these long periods of isolation.

I hope you are doing well.  I would love to hear from you.  dederittman@gmail.com 


As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. Rittman Publishing, LLC ®


Please invite Grady Gets Glasses (and me) into your school.  if you are not in the Pittsburgh area, we do virtual field trips with a group called Field Trip Zoom. www.Fieldtripzoom.com  and a company called www.StreamableLearning.com GRADY GETS GLASSES was the winner of Best New Children's Book 2016 and 2018 (new edition) from The Authors' Zone.Grady also won a 2018 prestigious Moonbeam Award for Best Children's Book with Merchandise.




Visit Dede's web page for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required readingSigned copies are available  www.dederittman.com Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics. 

I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books.  Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self.  However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired! 


Elementary teachers in Western Pennsylvania and beyond - I am willing to come into your classroom in person or as a virtual field trip through a group called Field Trip Zoom.  Check them out!  http://www.fieldtripzoom.com/ 

Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book.  I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies available for purchase in your classrooms following the reading.  Please email me at dederittman@gmail.com  The website www.gradygetsglasses.com now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!
 Please like Dede's new page Grady Gets Glasses for updates about her children's book. https://www.facebook.com/gradygetsglasses?ref=hl 

Connect with Dede!

Twitter       @dederittman
Facebook   Dede Faltot Rittman or Rittman Rules
LinkedIn   Dede Rittman
Google +   Dede Rittman
Tumblr      The Bunny Teacher
Instagram   dede_rittman  and Gradygetsglasses
Pinterest   Rittman Publishing, LLC ® 




Tuesday, May 5, 2020

"A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops." Henry Adams


Quote Fancy 

Teacher Appreciation Week 2020

Teacher Appreciation Week 2020 is unlike any we have ever seen.   I also believe that in this year of The Great Pandemic of 2020, teachers are more appreciated than they have ever been.  Teachers are finally receiving the thanks they deserve for all they do each day for kids!

I loved teaching high school English and Theater for 37 years, as well as directing shows and musicals for 20 years, and coaching Varsity Boys’ Golf for 33 years.  Although I was not ready to retire, I needed to retire in June of 2011 when my husband was dying from stage 4 colon cancer.  9 years later, besides missing my husband, I still miss being in the classroom.  Teaching is still the thing I love to do the most, and thank goodness, I can still be in classrooms with my 2 books!

For Teacher Appreciation Week this year, I want to give a big shout out to all my former colleagues at North Allegheny School District, who unequivocally support their students and each other every single day.  I also want to recognize every teacher who became a teacher because of that one influential teacher in their lives.  (When I retired, more than 20 of my talented district colleagues were also my former students.  A teacher can receive no greater compliment.)  And to EVERY teacher who is reinventing their in-person teaching methods to online presentations, YOU ROCK! 

I will close with one of my favorite quotes: “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” Henry Adams

Your influence will ripple on through eternity.  Thanks for choosing to be a teacher.

Dede Rittman
Teacher, Author, Speaker
President, Rittman Publishing, LLC
Student Teaching: The Inside Scoop from a Master Teacher www.dederittman.com
Grady Gets Glasses www.gradygetsglasses.com
Facebook: Dede Faltot Rittman; Student Teaching: The Inside Scoop; Grady Gets Glasses; Rittman Rules
Twitter @dederittman
LinkedIn Dede Faltot Rittman
Tumblr:  The Bunny Teacher
Blog: www.bunnyteacher.blogspot.com

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. Rittman Publishing, LLC ®



Please invite Grady Gets Glasses (and me) into your school.  if you are not in the Pittsburgh area, we do virtual field trips with a group called Field Trip Zoom. www.Fieldtripzoom.com  and a company called www.StreamableLearning.com GRADY GETS GLASSES was the winner of Best New Children's Book 2016 and 2018 (new edition) from The Authors' Zone.Grady also won a 2018 prestigious Moonbeam Award for Best Children's Book with Merchandise.




Visit Dede's web page for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required readingSigned copies are available  www.dederittman.com Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics. 

I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books.  Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self.  However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired! 

Elementary teachers in Western Pennsylvania and beyond - I am willing to come into your classroom in person or as a virtual field trip through a group called Field Trip Zoom.  Check them out!  http://www.fieldtripzoom.com/ 

Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book.  I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies available for purchase in your classrooms following the reading.  Please email me at dederittman@gmail.com  The website www.gradygetsglasses.com now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!
 Please like Dede's new page Grady Gets Glasses for updates about her children's book. https://www.facebook.com/gradygetsglasses?ref=hl 

Connect with Dede!

Twitter       @dederittman
Periscope   @dederittman
Facebook   Dede Faltot Rittman or Rittman Rules
LinkedIn   Dede Rittman
Google +   Dede Rittman
Tumblr      The Bunny Teacher
Instagram   dede_rittman  and Gradygetsglasses
Pinterest   Rittman Publishing, LLC ® 





Thursday, April 30, 2020

"No significant learning can occur without a significant relationship." James Comer


I have always been honest with my readers, and I am not about to change. To tell the truth, right now, in this pandemic, I am glad that I am retired and don't have to teach remotely.  I would not mind the technology, but I really would mind the distance. I would just miss my students too much.

Teacher friends are so sad, because that personal relationship with the kids is just not there, and caring, respectful, and nurturing relationships are the most beautiful part of teaching.  I have seen lots of teachers doing  car parades through neighborhoods, phone calls home, and sending personal notes, but the one thing I loved the most about the classroom was the day to day involvement with my students, along with sharing some glimpses into their lives. I think most teachers feel that way, and that is why so many teachers are as depressed as their students. 

No one knows what is going to happen, but I do know that EVERYONE I know wants to go back to school in the Fall.  Parents have endured enough of wearing the teacher hat!  It is difficult to do one's job from home without adding parenting and teaching into that mix 24/7.  When this is over, I believe teachers will finally be appreciated.

I want to share something beautiful with you from the school where I taught for 35 years.  North Allegheny is a huge school, in terms of numbers and talents.  Here is the North Allegheny virtual choir singing a song I never heard of, but now love.  I will also give you the link to how the director was able to put this all together.  Here's hoping you will be inspired!  This is a great way to stay connected to the kids! 

Baba Yetu   

And how the director and kids put this beautiful piece together.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iT529gUS8fQ&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR2_DUy-PvNpjF_StahwodxPUmdrCruZeeRM9TrWcs1wCYG5ug2qQCHsI5c

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. Rittman Publishing, LLC ®



Please invite Grady Gets Glasses (and me) into your school.  if you are not in the Pittsburgh area, we do virtual field trips with a group called Field Trip Zoom. www.Fieldtripzoom.com  and a company called www.StreamableLearning.com GRADY GETS GLASSES was the winner of Best New Children's Book 2016 and 2018 (new edition) from The Authors' Zone.Grady also won a 2018 prestigious Moonbeam Award for Best Children's Book with Merchandise.




Visit Dede's web page for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required readingSigned copies are available  www.dederittman.com Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics. 

I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books.  Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self.  However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired! 


Elementary teachers in Western Pennsylvania and beyond - I am willing to come into your classroom in person or as a virtual field trip through a group called Field Trip Zoom.  Check them out!  http://www.fieldtripzoom.com/ 

Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book.  I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies available for purchase in your classrooms following the reading.  Please email me at dederittman@gmail.com  The website www.gradygetsglasses.com now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!
 Please like Dede's new page Grady Gets Glasses for updates about her children's book. https://www.facebook.com/gradygetsglasses?ref=hl 

Connect with Dede!

Twitter       @dederittman
Periscope   @dederittman
Facebook   Dede Faltot Rittman or Rittman Rules
LinkedIn   Dede Rittman
Google +   Dede Rittman
Tumblr      The Bunny Teacher
Instagram   dede_rittman  and Gradygetsglasses
Pinterest   Rittman Publishing, LLC ® 



Thursday, April 23, 2020

"Time is free, but it's priceless." Harvey Mackay

Rockwell Global Media 


All human beings are influenced by their surroundings and the people closest to them.  For 9 months a year, teachers are usually some of the biggest influencers for kids, but not this year.  This year is is all about the parents, the siblings, and how a child chooses to spend alone time. 

I have been thinking about how the pandemic and being at home is changing some kids.  I can think of one young friend - an amazing musician who plays many instruments - and he is happier on the home schedule than he ever was at school.  He sleeps in, does his lessons, and spends the remainder of his time practicing and composing and honing his talents.  I think the time from the pandemic has served him very well.  His story makes me wonder about whether great things will happen because people had time to spend on something they love. 

I saw a story on KDKA TV last night about pop artist Burton Morris.  Turns out, he was in a body cast for months as a child, and he could only move his arms, so he spent every day (all day) drawing, which led to his occupation, as well as his fame and fortune. Maybe that same thing will happen to thousands of kids who have the time to explore what they love for endless hours, and as a consequence, our world will become more beautiful.

Parents must continue to encourage their children to find and follow their passions for learning in this most unusual time in our country's history.  Who knows what genius may be inspired? 

Here is the link to the Burton Morris story. 

https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/04/22/start-of-burton-morris-career/

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. Rittman Publishing, LLC ®



Please invite Grady Gets Glasses (and me) into your school.  if you are not in the Pittsburgh area, we do virtual field trips with a group called Field Trip Zoom. www.Fieldtripzoom.com  and a company called www.StreamableLearning.com GRADY GETS GLASSES was the winner of Best New Children's Book 2016 and 2018 (new edition) from The Authors' Zone.Grady also won a 2018 prestigious Moonbeam Award for Best Children's Book with Merchandise.




Visit Dede's web page for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required readingSigned copies are available  www.dederittman.com Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics. 

I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books.  Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self.  However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired! 


Elementary teachers in Western Pennsylvania and beyond - I am willing to come into your classroom in person or as a virtual field trip through a group called Field Trip Zoom.  Check them out!  http://www.fieldtripzoom.com/ 

Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book.  I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies available for purchase in your classrooms following the reading.  Please email me at dederittman@gmail.com  The website www.gradygetsglasses.com now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!
 Please like Dede's new page Grady Gets Glasses for updates about her children's book. https://www.facebook.com/gradygetsglasses?ref=hl 

Connect with Dede!

Twitter       @dederittman
Periscope   @dederittman
Facebook   Dede Faltot Rittman or Rittman Rules
LinkedIn   Dede Rittman
Google +   Dede Rittman
Tumblr      The Bunny Teacher
Instagram   dede_rittman  and Gradygetsglasses
Pinterest   Rittman Publishing, LLC ®