Thursday, July 18, 2019

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






Teaching is all about relationships. Students simply will not learn from a teacher they don't like.  Teachers who know this cultivate good relationships by learning about their students, sharing some daily small talk, and truly connecting with their students. When I was in the classroom, I received many notes and comments every day that let me know that I was making a meaningful connection with students.  It was wonderful to exchange ideas and conversations with students on a daily basis, reinforcing the relationship for each of us. I loved being a classroom teacher.

Making connections with students is much more difficult as a guest speaker, presenting to an entire school in just three presentations - K and 1; 2 and 3; 4 and 5. Just 40 minutes per presentation does not promote personal connections.

I presented at the Downingtown School District  at the end of April. Mrs. North's class attended one of my online presentations about my book GRADY GETS GLASSES, and then I was invited to present to the entire school. After the presentations, I was invited to Mrs. North's class for a Q and A, so I did have a bit more time to spend with one group of students, and I felt the connection between us!

Imagine my delight when I received a letter from one of Mrs. North's students in the mail!  What a wonderful surprise, as well as a reinforcement of what I have always believed - teaching is all about relationships. This little girl loves her GRADY GETS GLASSES book and the Grady bunny, and she wanted to share that with me. I am so touched to receive this beautiful letter with drawings of Grady! She wanted to share her love for Grady with me!  As an author, this is so flattering, but as a teacher, this is so thrilling.  Connecting with the kids is my goal, and this beautiful letter certifies that I reached that goal.  Thank you, B, for thinking of me and sharing your thoughts. Thanks to Mrs. North for the invitation to your school! 




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  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 webpage 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, July 11, 2019

"To forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time." Elie Wiesel





Education is not the same as it was when I left it a few years ago.

Have you heard about a principal in Florida?  The story has not received much attention in the news.

A principal of a high school on Boca Raton, Florida, had an email exchange with a parent who asked if the Holocaust was taught in school.  You need to know that Boca Raton is a wealthy area with a large population of Jewish citizens. Principal William Latson  told the parent, " Not everyone believes the Holocaust happened." 

WHAT?????

I don't even know what to say about this.  

I know there are Holocaust deniers, and I also know that you can find lots of articles on the Internet that say the Holocaust never happened.  I am aware that when The Holocaust was happening, The New York Times refused to acknowledge and report the carnage and murder in their paper, so Americans were not informed about the atrocities as they occurred.  (Here is the link to that story. https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/10903 ) 
 But for an educator to tell a parent this statement:"Not everyone believes the Holocaust happened and you have your thoughts but we are a public school and not all of our parents have the same beliefs so they will react differently,"   I just don't know what to say.

Administrators are educational leaders and role models for students. To say that I am shocked and disappointed by his statement that "Not everyone believes the Holocaust happened"  does not describe my disbelief.

 Although the principal was reassigned after the email exchange, according to newspaper articles, he was not disciplined. 

I have had enough of the political correctness and the rewriting of history.  Saying it isn't so does not make history disappear.  I will not forget the 6 million victims.

End of rant. 

Here is a link to the story:  https://www.huffpost.com/entry/principal-removed-over-holocaust-comments_n_5d24baebe4b0583e482801a9

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  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 webpage 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, July 4, 2019

"Kindness is the language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Mark Twain






I am a huge fan of CBS reporter Steve Hartman and his "On the Road" segments.   I find his stories of ordinary Americans to be refreshing and uplifting, especially in the political climate of  today.  If you are a regular reader, you know that I was a teacher for 37 years, and that I enjoy practicing and sharing stories about kindness. 

Such is the story for today.  A six year old girl with a major hearing problem was set to go to a school for kindergarten. Her parents decided on a regular school, rather than a school for hearing impaired children. The bad news - no one in her neighborhood school was like Morey - everyone could hear.  Morey Belanger and her parents were wary of her mainstreaming at first, but then something wonderful happened at Dayton Consolidated Elementary School.  The kids learned basic sign language!  They wanted Morey to be included, so with books and help from Morey's aide, all the kids learned some signs to communicate with the little girl. What a beautiful gesture of kindness and inclusion from children!  Adults should take a lesson from these beautiful children.

If you have not seen this story, here is the link: 
https://www.cbsnews.com/video/students-learning-sign-language-to-support-a-classmate/ 

In our current time of turmoil and antagonism, with polarized parties and little true communication, it is so wonderful to share a story about reaching out to another for no political gain, just for friendship and kindness.

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  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 webpage 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, June 27, 2019

Teachers - "Remember to relax and rejuvenate this summer." Extraordinaryteachers.com



Extraordinaryteachers.com 


Like many other teachers, I loved my job.  In fact, I loved all my jobs - teaching, coaching, directing, and serving on lots of committees. As an addendum, I must say that I really looked forward to summer vacation. Those who are not in the field of Education don't know that teachers get zero down time during the day. So many people with regular office jobs can say "Hold my calls" and shut the door for a few minutes of recuperation time, but not teachers!  Teachers can't even blink for too long, because in a classroom of 30 students, one never knows what is going to happen.

Most teachers I know continue to work on tasks like curriculum or tutoring students, but the everyday pressure is less.If the should district decide on a new textbook, the teacher's entire summer is preoccupied with becoming familiar with the book and creating new lessons.  I know that many folks seem to think teachers get too much vacation, but I disagree. The stress and work levels for teachers are over the top. 

Maybe the year-round school model would actually be better for both students and teachers.  Instead of one long vacation, 3-4 week breaks would be after every semester.  I actually believe that schedule would cause less student and teacher burnout.

Whatever your school calendar is, I wish my teacher friends relaxation and rejuvenation! You will need all the energy you can muster for the beginning of the school year.  




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  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 webpage 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 ® 









Wednesday, June 19, 2019

"I got this." Amy Bockerstette, Golfer



Detail of the golf ball of Amy Bockerstette, a 20-year-old golfer with Down syndrome. (Photo: Rob Schumacher, The Arizona Republic-USA TODAY NETWORK)


Gary Woodland won the US Open on Father's Day, 2019, at Pebble Beach.  This win was his first victory in a major tournament, and many golf fans did not know him at all, or they knew him from a video clip of him meeting Amy Bockerstette, the first student with Down's Syndrome to win a full athletic scholarship for golf. Gary and Amy played the 16th hole at The Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale,  the most difficult par 3 on the course - and her drive landed in the side bunker.  Gary generously offered to hit the ball out for her, but she refused, saying, "I got this." After hitting the ball within 8 feet of the pin, she repeated her mantra of "I got this," and holed the putt. 

What an attitude!  So positive, so confident, and so in the moment. Amy had lessons for all of us.  She showed the viewing public that no restrictions should be placed on any person because of a disability. Amy reminded us that the little engine that could was right - keep thinking "I think I can", and your dream can come true. Amy taught us to adjust our thinking about people with disabilities, and to look at them in a new light, focusing on what they CAN do, rather than on what they CANNOT do.  Amy Bockerstette is truly someone special, and I wish she would have been my student!

Gary's new friend Amy was just part of his inspiration to keep grinding at the US Open, even when being threatened by 2-time US Open champion Brooks Koepka and the famous Justin Rose, among others who came within a few strokes of his amazing performance.  After his win, Gary immediately made a FaceTime call to Amy. He told her that her positive energy and thinking of her helped him win!  Amy and Gary truly have a remarkable and special friendship.  Here is the link to the FaceTime call  https://www.golfmagic.com/golf-news/watch-gary-woodland-facetime-call-amy-after-us-open-win 

Gary appeared on the TODAY Show to surprise Amy, who was already on set, and he talked candidly about how Amy's inspiration helped him to win the tournament. He said "It's her love for life,'' Woodland told TODAY. "Life's not always bells and whistles, it's not always going to be great, but your energy's contagious.That's the only thing you can control, your attitude, and she controls her attitude beautifully. I learned a lot from her that day (in Phoenix). I was more nervous for her on that day than I was playing at any time last week. She executed under the gun, under pressure, people all around her. It was a special day." (Quotes from this link - see the beautiful story here) https://www.today.com/news/gary-woodland-surprises-special-olympics-golfer-who-inspired-him-t156543 

As my readers know, I taught high school English and Theater for 37 years and coached Varsity Golf (first girls, then boys) for 33 years. I write many articles and posts about how golf teaches us life lessons of patience, humility, persistence, and self-control. However, NEVER, in my 33 years of coaching, 38 years of serving on the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League, and working with both the West Penn Golf Association and the USGA, have I seen such an inspirational story that teaches us about believing in ourselves and appreciation the talents of others, and living our lives without limitations being placed on our abilities. 

The whole world now knows who Amy is!  I feel fortunate to know her through the beautiful clips I have seen on her, and I will be following her on Twitter to keep up with her amazing and positive life. Now, the entire world also knows who Gary Woodland is - a man who met a special friend who inspired him so much, that he had to share that inspiration with the universe.  Thank you, Gary and Amy, for your life lessons of friendship and staying positive.  You are two champions in my book.  And by the way, when something impossible comes my way, Amy - "I GOT THIS!" 

#Golf #LifeLessons #BelieveInYourself  


If you missed the original video of Amy and Gary meeting at the Phoenix Open, here it is. 
 https://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=YYZYLLNX

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  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 webpage 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, June 13, 2019

"Dads are most ordinary men turned into heroes." Pam Brown



My father has been gone for 17 years, yet I continue to think of him every day.  He was one of the top 3 men I admire in my life. An ordinary man with only a high school education, my father had the ability to analyze problems from all sides and present his findings in such a simplistic way that the answer presented itself.  He never thought of himself as a "King Solomon", but he always seemed to offer the wisest advice to family and the friends who sought his opinion.

When I was unhappy for a short time at college (It was the 70's - I wanted cashmere and knee socks, and I got bell bottoms and peace signs), Dad wisely called me to his side and said, "You can stay at home with old Dad, but what would you have?  No teaching degree, no college friends, no new books to discover.  And then what?"  I wasn't really thinking of quitting school - just having a bad week - but Dad put it all into perspective.  If you want to attain a dream, you have to work for it, and that work will not always be pleasant.  I have carried that lesson with me all these years, and shared it with so many students during my long teaching career.  

Dad always gave solid advice that was easy to grasp. When my brother was in a hitting slump on the baseball field, Dad not only took him to the batting cages for some extra practice, he told George that he had to believe he was going to hit the ball. My dad knew about visualizing an outcome and creating self-confidence long before I ever studied those concepts at school.  I can still see the two of them sitting on the front steps, under our yellow and white awning, speaking in hushed tones. Dad was whispering while George looked at him so intently that he didn't even blink.  (And yes, the hitting slump was overcome) 

I had a short failed marriage in the 70's, and I am not a person who is accustomed to failing.  Dad explained that sometimes people are just too young to be married , and that the divorce was not all my fault.  He listened carefully to what I said, let me cry on his shoulder, and patted my back soothingly, and somehow, that just made me feel better.  Dad instinctively knew that sometimes no words were needed, just a presence, a listening ear, and unwavering love. 

Happy Father's Day to all!  If you are still lucky enough to have your father, please tell him you love him. I drove to see my dad on Father's Day in 2002, snapped a few pictures, and he died in his sleep from a heart attack 2 weeks later. I am so grateful for that final time together!  Here's to our Dads! 


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  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 webpage 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, June 6, 2019

"It is, I believe, the greatest generation any society has ever produced." Tom Brokaw





Today is June 6, 2019, 75 years since D-Day, the biggest invasion by air and sea the world has ever seen. It was a mission that could NOT fail, as the fate of the free world depended on it. It was heroes who charged head first into the sea and up a cliff, and into hails of never stopping bullets. I truly believe this was the "Greatest Generation." 

My father served in World War II, although he was not on the beaches at Normandy.  George Faltot served with Army Division 711 in the African Shores Theater. My father, just like the heroes of Omaha Beach, never saw himself as a hero. Like thousands of others, Dad made a simple decision:  the country called and needed his service, so he went.  Like thousands of others, he suffered what was then known as "shell shock", but we now call PTSD.  When I was just 3 years old, Daddy was in the psychiatric unit of West Penn Hospital, where he received 10 shock treatments.  My mother took my older brother and me to see him every single day for a year.  We drove the 20+ miles when my brother, who was in first grade, got home from school.  I still remember the nuns in the hospital wearing their full habits and tall headdresses, silently moving down the hallways. And I remember that many men from the service were in the psychiatric ward with my father. 

Like the thousands of others in the "Greatest Generation", my father never talked about the war.  When I went away to college to study Education and English, I brought home a book called Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo. The book is about a boy who survives the war - but he has no arms, no legs, he can't speak, and he is blind. It is a true anti-war book like none other. Dad asked if he could read it, and the message of the book hit him in the heart.  Suddenly, when we had alone time, Dad shared a few small stories about the war.  

Seeing the World War II veterans during the ceremonies this week made me think of my father.  All of the men in the cemetery are heroes, and all of the survivors who went back to Normandy for this final time are heroes.  I hope they could feel the love from the President of France, from President Trump, and all who gathered at the 75th remembrance. I hope teachers were watching, and that they will share the stories of the fateful D-Day invasion with their classes, and keep the mantra that "freedom is not free" alive in their classrooms. 

My parents always remembered June 6, and my mother discussed D-Day with us when we were growing up.  She wanted us to understand the sacrifices of others, and through the years, I have remembered what she said about those heroes. Even now,  I marvel at the humility of the 90+ year old veterans who are still alive and attended the ceremony.  In this world where most people do not know the definition of humility, they continue to educate us through their actions, more than their words.

Thank you to the men and women who served in World War II, for your sacrifice and courage.  Thank you for our freedom. 

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  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 webpage 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 

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