Thursday, June 21, 2018

"The greatest gift you ever give is your honest self." Mr. Rogers








A movie about Mr. Rogers is playing in selected theaters.  I am eager to see the movie, because I actually knew Mr. Rogers. In the 1980's, Scott and I had tickets for the Pittsburgh Public Theater on the same night as Mr. and Mrs. Rogers.  We would exchange hellos and pleasantries, and it seemed to us that the man was so real.  His TV persona of kindness was unwavering when he was seen in person.  Once in the lobby before a show, we observed a young girl run up to Mr. Rogers. "Look at my new dress, Mr. rogers!" she exclaimed.  He gave her a smile and a nod, and remarked, "Your dress is very pretty.  But, remember, it is more important to be pretty on the inside."  Scott and I just looked at each other - it was a real "Mr. Rogers" learning moment. He was the same on the public street as he was on television.

I think the world was a kinder and gentler place when Mr. Rogers was on television, helping kids deal with tough issues like divorce, serious illness, death, and even assassination.  Just the sound of his voice enveloped his audience in a field of comfort and safety.  I wish his gentle demeanor and methods of discussion and explanation were here today. The children who are dealing with school safety issues as well as gender identification problems and bullying would benefit from this gentle man's point of view.  Mr. Rogers'  ideas and words could help to steer children through this difficult world.

I also admired Mr. Rogers because he always wanted children to be the best versions of themselves, while staying true to themselves.  He liked us "just the way we are."  As adults and teachers, we need to reiterate his positive messages to the children we influence, especially his messages about being kind. One thing I know for sure is that our world needs more kindness.  

Have you seen the trailer for the new film about Mr. Rogers?  Here is the link.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HV_kxc9PxrQ 

I am so proud that Mr. Rogers was from Latrobe, which is outside of my hometown of Pittsburgh.  He made Pittsburgh and the rest of America a better place with his empathy and sincerity, embracing each new person he met as his "neighbor"  and friend.  I hope this new film will help his message to reach new "neighbors", inspiring us to be better human beings. Thanks for being you, Mr. Rogers.  And thanks for expecting us to be the best authentic selves we could be, while always treating others with kindness and compassion. 


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 from The Authors' Zone. For more information about The Authors' Zone, please visit http://www.theauthorszone.com/submissions/  


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 14, 2018

"My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me." Jim Valvano





This weekend will be Father's Day, and I will be thinking about my Dad, who left this earth in 2002.  A small but wiry man, Daddy was only 110 pounds, but he was so strong that his nickname was "Herk" for Hercules.  My brothers and I were afraid of our Dad when we were little; only when I grew up did I really get to see who my Dad was. Long talks in the living room and on the front porch when no one else was home allowed Daddy to tell me some things about himself that I am not even sure that he ever shared with my Mother.

Daddy's parents came to the United States from France.  The last name was Faltot (pronounced fell toe, but butchered by many as something else.)  They spoke French at home until my grandfather Faltot decided that they should become "American" and speak English everywhere.  Sigh.  (I took Spanish for 9 years, and wish I could have had French at home.)  Daddy said that fitting in as Americans was very important. 

Daddy never went to school beyond graduating from high school.  A practical man all his life, he had a way of assessing a situation or problem and inventing several possibilities for solutions.  "Can't learn that in college - just in the school of hard knocks", as Daddy would say. When I was in college for four years, Daddy would often ask me what I was learning in my classes.  Always excited to learn and teach, I would regale him with facts and hypotheses, book readings and poems.  I have written before about my father becoming an avid reader in his 60's when I was in college.  He worked so hard at reading that he was able to overcome severe dyslexia, which he explained to me as "the words making no sense and moving around."  I taught him the note card method of reading with a note card below (and above, if needed) the line of text, which enabled him to lose the swirling words.  Sometimes, if he had an especially tough time reading a lengthy sentence, I suggested he read it aloud for better comprehension.  Daddy loved all of James Michener's books - and Mr. Michener wrote some sentences that were several pages long - so this reading aloud strategy was particularly important to Daddy. Dad's reading difficulties were just between us.  My brothers and mother were never nearby when we discussed books or his reading issues.  I was so pleased when Dad told me he was reading so fast compared to the slow pace at which he started.  When I was a little girl, I would reread books several times, and Dad would sort of laugh about that and ask me,  "Why are you reading a book you already read?"  In his reading, years later, he discovered that if one read of a book offers enjoyment, several reads can offer even more learning and enjoyment.  I will guess that he read SHOGUN 10 times, and KING RAT more than 15 times.  He finally understood.

My father never really advanced too high in his job, but he was well-respected and an important figure as head of his department at Allegheny Ludlum Steel.  And he worked swing shift for 43 1/2 years - how could anyone do that?  8 to 4; 4 to 12; 12 to 8, all those years!  He took good care of his family and went to work whether he wanted to go or not.  My father gave me a great work ethic.

Dad disclosed to me on more than one occasion that he believed that his brothers and sisters fared better than he did.  I know that to be partially true, and it hurt me that he felt he had to compare bank accounts with them.  Old sibling rivalries die hard. 

There was a time when I was considering quitting college during my sophomore year.  I just wasn't happy, and I was so homesick.  Daddy told me he would support me in my decision, but warned me that staying home with "old dad" was not going to get me a career, and that quitting would be like shooting myself in the foot, so I never quit. Dad didn't talk a lot, but when he did, his words were thoughtful, well chosen, and to the point. He wanted me to become a teacher, and he was so proud on the day that I graduated from college. 

Sometimes, when he was really down, we talked about his mental illness and shock treatments during the 1950's; often we talked about his depression.  My father endured so many dark days.  I know he did not discuss his depression openly with my brothers or mother - they most always got dad's happy face.  I'm glad he trusted me to help lift his burden.

I miss talking to my dad.  I wonder what he would have to say about the rude world this has become, a world where people insult others to their faces on national television. My dad was a gentle soul who tried to work with others and get along, because for him, the whole was more important than the part.  Seems no one thinks like that anymore. He had good manners and would not say anything bad about another person.  My dad abhorred gossip. 

I am lucky that I had two parents who loved me deeply and believed in me. I miss them both.

Happy Father's Day, Daddy.  I will forever be your little girl, no matter how old I become.  


As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. 

Rittman Publishing, LLC ®


Daddy with George, Brian, and me in 1960


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 from The Authors' Zone. For more information about The Authors' Zone, please visit http://www.theauthorszone.com/submissions/  


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 7, 2018

"Play is a child's work and this is not a trivial pursuit." Alfred Adler



 My readers are people interested in Education, and their ages range from the 20's to in the 70's. Those who are older will remember "our" kind of playground - lots of hard blacktop surface with painted hopscotches; a "merry-go-round" with no governor to control speed, allowing kids to spin faster and faster until centrifugal forces threw us off; tall sliding boards,  usually stainless steel or aluminum, both conductors of heat in the sunshine; and the perilous Jungle Jim, and monkey bars, enticing us to compete in tests of strength, leading to many broken arms.  Of course there were swing sets, cemented in the hard blacktop.  The playgrounds of the 1950's, 60's. and 70's had no spots for a soft landing.

Then, along came a group who wanted a softer and gentler playground, which eradicated the dangerous merry-go-round and many other challenges and enjoyments. Playgrounds became safer, but also duller.  It seems the tide has turned again.

I read an article this week, and then saw a television story about changing playgrounds into a risky fun zone for kids. They are called "Adventure Playgrounds', and they are supposed to build confidence and courage, along with resilience, in children.  Psychologists have long agreed that play is powerful for our children, and the adventure playground allows kids to be kids in an unstructured environment with no adult interference.  

I am a fan of this playground concept.  For so many years, parents have planned every activity in their child's day.  I believe that if I were a kid in today's world, I would hate all those planned non-spontaneous activities.  My generation spent every day outside on our bikes and in the ball yard, swooping into the house for short meals, then rushing back outside to play.  No obesity problems back then - we were too busy catching fireflies, as well as playing stick ball and 7-Up; "It" and "Hide and Seek,"  The most important rule of our days was to be home when the street lights came on.  Times were simpler, and we learned to solve our problems on the playground and on the ball field, with no adult intervention. The playground and unstructured days with friends became our summer classroom. 

In 1931, a Danish landscape architect noticed that kids were playing everywhere except the playgrounds.  They loved construction sites, and burned out buildings of WW II were favorite spots for kids to play. Some of the concepts of today's adventure playground borrow from that architect and involve risks.  Loose boards, old engine parts, and other "junk" are scattered on the playground to stimulate creativity.  I would  loved to have played on that kind of playground! 

I urge you to take a look at the article about this idea for playgrounds to help kids learn and be creative.  I think it is an idea whose time has come.  Kids need to be less protected in their homogenized environments and stretch their wings and imaginations.

Here is the link to the article:  https://tocaboca.com/magazine/adventure-playgrounds/ and here is the link to the news story https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/30-seconds-to-know/video/some-cities-rethinking-traditional-playgrounds-to-encourage-kids-creativity-1247409731576

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 from The Authors' Zone. For more information about The Authors' Zone, please visit http://www.theauthorszone.com/submissions/  


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, May 31, 2018

"A new baby is like the beginning of all things-wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities." Eda J. LeShan



Photo credit - Colesthecolussus.co

Throughout my 37 years in the classroom, I enjoyed working with many students who had special needs.  Since retiring and writing my weekly blog about various facets of Education, I have covered a multitude of topics.  This week, I am using my blog to advance a friend's cause. Having a new baby is a cause for celebration - and for stress!  What if you, the parent, have a disability?  How will your disability affect your ability to care for your child?  Ashley Taylor is giving you advice in this week's post. 


Author Ashley Taylor is a freelance writer, photographer, and advocate for people with disabilities. She created www.DisabledParents.org to provide information and resources to other parents with disabilities. When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. I am pleased to offer Ashley's article this week, as she reaches out to parents with disabilities to help them prepare to welcome a new baby.  



Tips for New Parents that Have Disabilities
by Ashley Taylor 

Persons with a disability learn to adapt their environment and life so that they can thrive. Disability is also rarely a static condition; there are good days and not-so-good ones, new challenges and triumphs, and changes in your life that require new techniques. Parenting, either as a new parent or a recently-disabled pro mom or dad, can throw a lot at you at once. And then again and in many ways, as the child develops. It’s very much the same for non-disabled parents. Here are some tips to lessen the challenge and to prepare your life and home for parenthood. 

You’re not alone . . . not by a longshot

Rest assured that many others have successfully raised children in spite of disabilities. In a survey of US children, one in ten stated that they have a parent who is disabled. It’s likely, therefore, that someone, somewhere has been in your place. Use others as inspiration and as a resource. Read about their experiences and connect with those who act as mentors through support groups and social services providers. Use their example as confidence that you can handle any parenting hurdle.

Impact of disability on parenting

Although the numbers of parents with disabilities are significant, there are, of course, many different types of disabilities. Your challenges will be unique, but if you’ve been living with your disability for your entire life, you will know best your limitations. When speaking to other disabled parents, ask what modifications they employed to ease baby care, for example, and combine that information with your coping tactics.

Prepare yourself

The first step for a new or expecting parent is to talk with a doctor. Speaking with a health care provider is especially important for an expecting mother as there may be limitations that can impact pregnancy, but in any event, the consultation can be the basis for a plan. Discuss medications, and seek referrals for social services providers who can provide you with support resources. And when you become a parent, you may need to add your own care into your plan.

This need for self-care is not unique to parenting with a disability, as parents often neglect their well-being during parenting - especially in the baby years. Studies show that on average new moms only have 17 minutes of free time each day. Still, if that’s all you have, put those 17 minutes to work for your benefit to reduce stress. Some self-care tips include:

-       Scheduling time with a friend. All too often, parents shut off personal relationships when overwhelmed by their baby.
-       Creating goals for yourself. Thinking beyond the daily tasks in front of you gives you a broader view of life.
-       Meditating. Even just a short moment of quiet can bring focus and calm to your busy day.
-       Getting fresh air. If the season and your mobility allow, try to change up your environment. Go to a park or just around the block to break up the monotony.

Prepare your home

And while you are getting yourself ready to be a parent, make sure that your home is prepared for the baby and your role as a parent as well. Since your disability is unique, no list can comprehensively cover all of the required home accommodations. However, here are some common alterations and preparations that work for different disabilities.

-       Make sure hallways and entrances are clear and well-lit.
-       If you do not have ramp access, but need it, take care of that first.
-       Use accessible cabinets and handles.
-       Explore different parenting products designed for parents with disabilities, such as swivel base car seats, and side opening cribs.

Through a combination of planning, reaching out to support services and people who’ve shared your struggles, and preparing yourself and your home, you can minimize potential problems and overcome the hurdles of parenting.

Author

Ashley Taylor is a freelance writer, photographer, and advocate for people with disabilities. She created www.DisabledParents.org to provide information and resources to other parents with disabilities. When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.

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 from The Authors' Zone. For more information about The Authors' Zone, please visit http://www.theauthorszone.com/submissions/  


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 ® 




Friday, May 25, 2018

"The safety of children always comes first." Andres Alonso







Following a horrific crash between a school bus and a truck last week, plus several other crashes that resulted in deaths,  the NTSB has finally announced that seat belts should be used in school busses. I say "It's about time!"  If students are viewed as precious cargo, this should have happened years ago.  I coached Varsity Boys' Golf for 33 years- which meant I spent many hours through those years traveling on a school bus.  If the team was traveling in a van, I required the boys to wear seat belts. But if we had a big bus, seat belts were rarely an option - especially years ago.  More busses were equipped with seat belts near the end of my coaching career, but certainly, not all busses.  The team and I had some really close calls through those years, and I can remember the golf clubs flying off the seats like ptojectiles. If only this recommendation would have happened sooner- so many lives have been lost in school bus accidents.  Here is an article about the NTSB's decision: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-22/seat-belts-urged-for-school-buses-by-ntsb-after-2016-crashes

Ahead of our time, a colleague and I wrote a post advocating bus seat belts Living Education Magazine, Fall, 2015, which I am sharing here. Although our children are our treasure,  getting companies to spend the money on school bus seat belts to insure their safety has been a challenge.  


Should School Busses Have Seatbelts?
By Dede Rittman and Neil S. Haley

The second week of September, a school bus crash happened in Houston, Texas, and two female students ages 14 and 17 were killed.  Two others were seriously injured and were hospitalized. This week, a school bus in Florida carrying 20 children careened off a road and went into a pond.  Luckily, no serious injuries were reported.

All state laws require passenger cars to have seatbelts, and every state in the U.S. has a law which requires that seat belts be worn.   No newborn baby released from the hospital is permitted to go home in the family car unless the family has provided a properly installed child seat, and laws for child seats are determined by age, weight, and size of the child.1

All of these laws beg the question, why are seat belts NOT required for school busses by ALL states? 

Should all school busses, even the large passenger models, be equipped with seat belts?  Should all children be required to wear seatbelts on school busses?
After much research and discussion, both Neil S. Haley, CEO of The Total Education Network, and Dede Rittman, author of Student Teaching: The Inside Scoop from a Master Teacher, believe the answer to both questions is a resounding YES.

Although school busses are “compartmentalized” for safety, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that school busses are eight times safer than riding in family cars,2  many parents want their children to have that extra measure of safety by wearing a seat belt. Even students become upset at the thought of not wearing a seat belt in the bus, when they have been taught the importance of wearing a seatbelt in the car.

Neil S. Haley is the father of five children, and he states that “Just as schools want to create a safe environment within the school, parents also want the school to continue to make a safety cocoon for their children as the kids are traveling back and forth to school.”

The cost of installing seatbelts into all school busses currently on the road would be prohibitive, but since schools sell and buy new busses periodically, perhaps a partial solution would be to have all new busses be equipped with seatbelts.

Dede Rittman, 37 year teaching veteran and 33 year golf coach, never felt totally safe on school busses when traveling to away golf matches.  “Although a school bus sits higher off the road, I always worried about the team’s safety in case of a crash.  It seemed like they, along with their golf clubs and bags, would be propelled into the air, and that would not be a good scenario for anyone on the bus.”

Just last week, NBC’s Jeff Rossen of the TODAY Show presented a live school bus crash at 30 mph using “student dummies”, and the results are startling , difficult, and disturbing to watch. You can check out the live crash and see just what happens inside the bus at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJvf8lfTTzU.

Right now, only six states require school busses to have seat belts.3  Both Neil and Dede hope that all 50 states will get on board to require children to wear seatbelts, in order to keep our children safe.


Dede Rittman is an award-wining author of STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER, available at www.dederittman.com  and Amazon.com and Kindle Dede is a 37 year veteran English/ Theater teacher, with 2 years in the Penn Hills School District, and 35 years in the North Allegheny School District, where she also was Varsity Head Boys’ Golf Coach for 33 years, directed the spring musical and talent shows, worked with student council, and contributed to many district initiatives.  Always a positive person, Dede writes a weekly blog for teacher inspiration at www.bunnyteacher.blogspot.com.  She is a guest blogger for Teachers.net, My Town Tutors, Educator Help, Forest of the Rain Productions, and many others. Dede is the Co-host of The Total Education Q and A Show, which is heard around the world on 120 stations in 80 countries at www.blogtalkradio.com/totaltutor .  Dede appeared as a regular panelist on Teacher Talk Live at www.teachcow.com; and Dede has presented webinars for WIZ IQ and The Learning Liaisons. Dede has signed a multi-book contract with Tate Publishing for her new series of children’s books, beginning with GRADY GETS GLASSES, which will be launched in Times Square on December 4, 2015. Dede graduated with a B.S in Secondary English from Edinboro University and attended graduate school at Pitt.

Connect with Dede: dederittman@gmail.com ; TWITTER @dederittman; LinkedIn -Dede Faltot Rittman; Google + -Dede Rittman;  Facebook- Dede Faltot Rittman and Rittman Rules; Instagram- dede_rittman, Pinterest -Rittman Publishing; Tumblr -The Bunny Teacher




Neil Haley, CEO of Total Tutor, has been working with children for more than 12 years. His experience includes: Classroom Teacher; After School Program Director;  Behavior Specialist; Educational Advocate; Developmental Therapist, SAT Prep Coach; and Practicum Supervisor. Total Tutor is an international kindergarten through college tutoring and consulting company, providing educational advocacy, behavior therapy, autism consulting, home school consulting, all subject tutoring, and SAT/ACT/GRE tutoring. Neil is also the affable host of The Total Education Network, which is heard and viewed in over 80 countries, syndicated on 120 stations, with over 2.5 million listeners and viewers per week. Neil is also the host of the Total Celebrity Show, interviewing international stars, authors, and athletes on both his radio and TV shows. Neil also works as a social media coach for many famous individuals, and he is also an entrepreneur. In his earlier life, Neil was a professional wrestler. Neil is currently working on his first book and he regularly contributes as a writer to UK Health magazine, Forest of the Rain Productions, My Town Tutors, and other online magazines.
Neil graduated from LaRoche College with a B.S. in History, and obtained his M. Ed. at Duquesne University. He is married to Jennifer and the proud father of five children.
The Total Education Network airs shows 7 days a week on Blogtalkradio
www.blogtalkradio.com/totaltutor CEO, Producer, Host, Coach, Advocate, and Consultant 

Connect with Neil: Facebook Neil S. Haley; Twitter @totaltutor; LinkedIn -Neil S. Haley; Pinterest - Neil Haley, Google + -Neil Haley; Instagram- Neil Haley  412-523-0289; nhaley@totaltutor.org

To view the magazine, go to https://issuu.com/livingeducationemagazine/docs/fall_2015_leem_107  


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 from The Authors' Zone. For more information about The Authors' Zone, please visit http://www.theauthorszone.com/submissions/  


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 ®