Friday, February 16, 2018

My students don't need me to learn. They need me to care." Liz Galarza




I was a classroom teacher for 37 years.  I still break down every time there is a school shooting; I cry about lost lives and potential: about families being broken and unable to heal: about the students' and community's loss of friends, staff members, family members, and innocence.  I also cry for the shooter, who must have terrible pain to become angry enough to shoot teachers and classmates. Years ago at a drug and alcohol training class for teachers, we learned that "Depression is anger turned inward." If you look at the shooters in school shootings, all of them have anger and depression issues. Does the school have something to do with that anger? I have an opinion on that.  Read on.

(Politicians are the first to shout "More gun control." even if they are not willing to address the 2nd amendment because of the risk of losing contributions from the NRA and votes of gun-loving constituents.  I mention this only because I believe the gun issue is NOT the most important issue here.) 

Teaching is all about relationships.  Students learn best from a teacher whom students perceive as "liking" them.  Kids spend more time in school classrooms than they do with their own parents and families, and in many cases, the good teachers - the ones who are in touch with their students - know more about a student's life and feelings than the parent knows.  How do I know this to be true?  I lived it for 37 years. 

Schools must train teachers to be firm, fair, friendly, and trustworthy, yet, they must hold that delicate balance of making their students be accountable. Teachers must be approachable, understanding, and willing to listen, yet teachers can't cross the line and be "friends" with the students.  The kids have friends; what they really need is a positive and caring adult and role model.  (Students instinctively know which teachers are on their side, and they will try their hardest to please those kinds of teachers.)

Although sometimes it seems that students are not listening, teachers must realize that they are listening carefully - to every word you say.  My advice to teachers is this: you must tell students that if a student knows that something bad is going to happen, they must tell a caring adult.  I remember saying this statement  on the first day of school (especially after Columbine), and many days thereafter, especially if a school threat was in the news.  Through the years, lots of kids approached me, usually beginning with, "Mrs. Rittman, do you remember what you said the first day of school about telling a caring adult if something bad might happen?  Can I tell you?  I don't want to rat out my friend, so no one can know that I told you."  (Keep in mind that a student must have a great deal of trust in a teacher to make such a statement, a fact that was not unnoticed by me .) I would thank the student for his trust, and assure the student that I would not mention his name.  Situations like these usually entailed a short period of hemming and hawing on the part of the student, but with gentle persuasion, and words like, "You are doing the right thing, and no one will know that it was you," I was usually able to have the student reveal the information, which I could then take to the central administration. (For the record- I did protect the students' identities.)  These kinds of exchanges happened to me and to many of the terrific colleagues in my school building because of mutual trust, and a solid student-teacher relationship. I was privileged to work in a great school with so many caring professionals and administrators. 

You see, kids NEED to feel like they a a part of the school, with friends and opinions, with something important to offer, and with some notoriety of belonging.  Being a small part of a large school culture and "fitting in" is paramount to the way a student views himself and the way he thinks he is viewed by others. Every child needs at least one activity or a sport, whether it be band or stage crew or Spanish Club. School is not just about learning subject matter, it is about learning about oneself, about getting along with others, about managing feelings of acceptance and rejection, about being a small (but important) cog in a big wheel, and helping to turn that wheel. School is also about learning to get along with others, and that includes learning about empathy.  Every child needs to belong.  I am sure you have noticed that the shooters are always outcasts, with no real stake in the school. 

I think smaller class sizes could help teachers to identify students with social problems more easily, and perhaps to get students the help they need. Don't let any administrator or school board member tell you that class size really doesn't matter, because I have 37 years of experience that says IT DOES!  For most of my career, I elected to teach students who were reluctant learners, many of whom who had mild to severe learning disabilities, and many of whom had been labeled their entire lives as "class problems."  Although my Academic English classes had big numbers, my challenged learners were in small classes of just 12-16 students.  I got to know the students in my smaller classes much better than those in my large classes, and because of the pure trust those kids had in each other and in me (no secrets in this kind of class!), problems were addressed immediately, important interventions happened, and kids were helped.  Teaching is all about relationships, and no matter how good a teacher is, it is difficult to have more than a superficial relationship with 38 students in a classroom, all vying for the teacher's attention. 

Good parent/teacher communication is essential to help students to be their best.  The student learns the best and has the best chance for success when teachers, parents, and students all work together. Of course, parent communication takes time, and teachers are so busy with mundane clerical tasks, grading papers, and creating lessons, that parent communication goes by the wayside.  Teachers need a class period every day, devoted to parent communication.

I think every school should provide professional development around the issues of our time:  the two big ones, opioid addiction and mental health.  When  a group of teachers in my building worked through what was called CORE TEAM training (drug and alcohol training)  some years ago, we became better listeners and observers at school and in the community.  We learned to ask kids and parents tough questions in a caring way, to help them to express their needs, and to refer them to the resources that were available.  We learned about interventions and addictions and school safety, and for many of us, including me, that training helped us in our personal lives.

There you have it - my opinions on how to stave off school shootings.  Have caring teachers who not only get to know their students, but earn their students' trust.  Have smaller class sizes so that every student feels important and involved in the school, and teachers can actually know their students.  Help students to find their niche in the school culture, so that no one feels alone.  Provide meaningful training and professional development to teachers, which they can apply in their classrooms. Communicate concerns and joys to parents, making each student feel that he is cared for and cared about. (Although teachers cannot control home environments, we can do the best we can while the kids are at school.) We need to go back to the school climate that is based on personal relationships, encouragement, inclusion, and accountability. We need to help every student learn about and feel empathy.  I pray that through all of these things, school massacres cease. 

Shooters who really want to get guns will steal them, although when it comes to gun control, I can't think of a single reason anyone would need a machine gun or an AK 47.   

Of course, all of these thoughts are just my opinion.

I am reminded of this post from 1937 by Naomi John White, introduced to me by a college professor. Although educators no longer use the terms Miss White used in 1937, the original piece is below.  We must do better for our children.



I TAUGHT THEM ALL 

by Naomi John White

I have taught in a high school for 10 years,  During that time I have given assignments, among others, to a murdered, an evangelist, a pugilist, a thief, and an imbecile.

The murderer was a quiet little boy who sat in the front seat and regarded me with pale blue eyes; the evangelist, easily the most popular boy in school, had the lead in the junior play; the pugilist lounged by the window and let loose at intervals a raucous laugh that startled even the geraniums; the thief was a gay hearted Lothario with a song on his lips; and the imbecile, a soft-eyed little animal seeking the shadows. 

The murderer awaits death in the state penitentiary; the evangelist has lain a year now in the village churchyard; the pugilist lost an eye in a brawl in Hong Kong; the thief, by standing on tiptoe, can see the windows of my room from the county jail; and the once gentle-eyed little moron beats his head against a padded wall in the state asylum.

All of these pupils once sat in my room, sat and looked at me gravely across worn brown desks.  I must have been a great help to those pupils - I taught them the rhyming scheme of the Elizabethan sonnet and how to diagram a complex sentence

This piece first appeared in "The Educational Whirl" department  in  the November, 1937 edition of THE CLEARING HOUSE. Miss White taught English in Muskogee, OK, and later became a WAVES instructor at A & M College in Stillwater, OK



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 
Pinterest   Rittman Publishing, LLC ® 




















Saturday, February 10, 2018

"Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth." Muhammad Ali


I will always be a fan of Muhammad Ali, and his quote about service is one of my favorites. I am a huge proponent of service to others. 

I retired from teaching in June of 2011 when my husband was dying fro cancer, after 37 years of serving others, through teaching, coaching, directing, and all of the accouterments associated with teaching. I enjoyed writing letters of recommendation and encouraging students to be the best they could be.  I was preoccupied with serving my husband's needs for the year after retirement , but when he passed, I was unhappy on so many levels, and one of those levels included a simple fact:  I was not helping others.

My book for student teachers and my book for children have given me new chances to serve others. I am still so sad that Scott is gone, but helping others is a great antidote to grief.

As teachers, I think we become so accustomed to doing for others, that we don't even realize how much we do. A life of service is so fulfilling . . . knowing that your positive words and influence have helped another is almost ethereal. I am thankful for the years I had in the classroom to serve others, and I am just as grateful for a second career of service. I also enjoy writing inspirational messages every week for my readers, many of whom are teachers. 

Please invite me to your school for professional development workshops, writing workshops, children's presentations, and more!  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  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 
Pinterest   Rittman Publishing, LLC ® 




Saturday, February 3, 2018

"Acceptance is what we wish for ourselves and often deny others." Susan L. Taylor



A few weeks ago, I went to the movies to see WONDER.  After being in the classroom for 37 years, and teaching many students with special needs, I knew that WONDER would be a film that I would like.  The film was engaging and well-acted, and the lessons were both heartbreaking and heartwarming.  In fact, I think it is appropriate for classroom use.

This is a beautiful film on so many levels. The story is about a young boy with Treacher Collins Syndrome, which affects the development of bones and other tissues in the face. A child with this syndrome does not look like other children.  Auggie's parents decide that he should go to "real school" and not be home schooled, and so he enters middle school. The film is about the manner in which  parents and students at Auggie's school react to his presence in school.

This film offers so many lessons and teachable moments. Sometimes, teachers are presented with material that can help students to understand a topic, and this Hollywood film is a good example of such material. Students could learn perseverance from Auggie, as well as developing self-confidence and friendships. They could learn that the way a person looks has nothing to do with who the person is on the inside, and that everyone needs to be included and friended by others. The theme of acceptance and denial of acceptance permeates the film, and I think this theme lends itself to many class activities and it could be a really good teaching tool in the middle school.  A creative teacher could plan writing and discussion activities around the film, which could have a huge impact to help all students understand the concept of inclusion and exclusion. 

I urge all teachers to see the film, and perhaps the department could work together to create lessons to accompany the viewing of the film.  I think the impact on student learning, understanding, and acceptance will be well worth the effort. This film presents far more information to promote understanding of anti-bullying than any anti-bullying lesson I was required to teach in the classroom. 

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 
Pinterest   Rittman Publishing, LLC ® 







Friday, January 26, 2018

“Good teachers know how to bring out the best in students.” Charles Kuralt



The Grammy Awards provided a great platform for teachers this week, as they awarded a Music Educator Award to an elementary music teacher in the South Bronx. Teacher Melissa Salguero is making a huge difference in the lives of her students every single day. 

Melissa began her teaching career in Florida, but she chose to go to PS 48 just 7 years ago to resurrect a music program that had been abandoned for 30 years. When Melissa arrived at the school, one of the neediest of all the public schools, they did not have a school song, instruments, or even a school  mascot.  All of that has changed.

Students arrive one hour before school begins to learn and practice their instruments, which are provided to students free of charge. Band is strictly a before school activity. Melissa’s innovative methods of teaching music, chorus, and band have earned her the respect and adoration of her students.

I applaud the efforts of this extraordinary teacher! In a school with a 22% homeless population, her skills as a teacher and empathy for others have raised children to embrace learning and attend school, even coming in an hour early.  She has set high expectations for her students, and they have responded by  meeting, and even exceeding, those expectations.  She has made them believe they can do wonderful things with their talents and by working hard, like sing, and play the trombone, and be a part of something greater than one person..

It is a red-letter day when educators are recognized for their work.  Please take a few minutes to watch the CBS story of this amazing teacher.  You will see that here students love her so much, and she is the reason they come to school.  Teaching is all about relationships, and she has touched the heart of each of her students.  Melissa won a personal prize of $10,000, which she is putting toward her college debt, and a matching amount for the school, which will go toward the purchase of new instruments for the students.  This story is so inspiring!  Congratulations to Melissa, and to every teacher who is making a difference, with or without the public recognition. #teachersmatter 

Here is the link to the story: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/2018-grammy-music-educator-award-winner-bronx-music-teacher-melissa-salguero/

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 
Pinterest   Rittman Publishing, LLC ® 


Sunday, January 21, 2018

"Expectation is the mother of all frustration." Antonio Banderas



This week has been a challenging one for me.  On Tuesday evening, my barely-4-years-old desktop computer stopped being connected to the Internet. I took it to the Geek Squad, and the network card was broken. I attempted to circumvent the issue with a wireless net connector, but even that would not work. Additionally, my laptop developed a virus, which the Geek Squad fixed through a remote connection, and two days later, the computer started acting the same way as before the fix.  Many hours later, it was fixed remotely again- the touch screen was not working correctly, and the technician had to disable that function. 

The news is I bought a new computer today, Sunday, and I am not happy about it. When I buy a product and take care of it, I expect it to work correctly.

Then, on Thursday night at 11 pm, a major transformer exploded in Pittsburgh's North Hills, plunging 2400 customers into darkness and no electricity for 21 hours. I was already so frustrated by the computer experiences, and dealing with no electric made a bad situation even worse.  I live in a valley, and my iPhone will not work without the booster from AT&T, so I did not even have phone service. Once again, when I pay for a service, I expect it to work, or at least, to be repaired in a timely manner, but I had no control over the situation.

Can you sense my frustration?  Before the power outage, I spent at least 12 hours trying to connect to the Internet, following suggested methods for addressing the problem from researching the problem on my iPad.  After the power returned, I spent 2 hours on the phone with the Asus support people trying to get the wireless network device to work, and another 2 hours with a technician at my home, who said that whatever was broken in the motherboard, it was not worth spending the money to fix. 

This week was filled with so many wasted hours, working to control things that I had absolutely no control over, although I thought I did. My frustration had even turned to anger!

Thinking about all the frustrating events of my week, I reflected on the anger and frustration of many of my former students who lived with severe learning disabilities. So many of them tried and tried to meet teacher expectations,  but they needed a different pathway to learning, because the methods being used by many of their teachers simply were not working.  As their English teacher, I worked with these students individually, asking questions and helping them to devise ways to get information into the brain without causing so much frustration!  We made silly sing-song sentences, used highlighters, read with note cards, and I even made elaborate study guides to serve the sequential learners, along with hundreds of other tricks.  Every student with special needs presented a new challenge; I wanted to help them because of their level of frustration, and the anger that ensued from that frustration. Teachers who do not understand student frustration become angry when the student is angry.  All that does is escalate a situation.I always found it was better to ask the student, "What is really wrong?"  Allowing a student to vent leads to creating a solution, as well as student-teacher understanding.  Isn't that what we want for our students?

So, I have vented.  My power is restored, but my new computer will not be ready until Thursday.  I can't control that. However, just sharing this information with my readers has helped to relieve my frustration, which I can control, and for that, I thank you.  Teachers, please reach out to your angry/frustrated students!  They need to be heard, and helped, because dealing with frustration of not being able to meet expectations is difficult. 

Have a great week. 

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 
Pinterest   Rittman Publishing, LLC ® 




Saturday, January 13, 2018

"TEACHING - The profession that creates all other professions." - Anonymous





I believe that overall, teachers in the United States are undervalued.  Discuss teaching with any group, and you will hear phrases like, "They only work 9 months a year," or "They don't really have to WORK very hard."  Statements like that continue to infuriate me, but I think the biggest slap against teachers came this week when a teacher in Louisiana questioned the 27% raise of the school superintendent, and she was taken out of the school board meeting in handcuffs.  (Teachers in that district have not had a raise for 10 years.)  It is plain to see that teachers are NOT valued in that district.

I watched this story on the news and read about it online, along with the rest of the country. Along with thousands of others, I thought, "This can't be happening in the United States!"  But it did - all because of a single teacher questioning a raise.   

People need to wake up!  Teachers are the profession that creates all other professions. Teachers work with students of all ability levels, encouraging each child to be the best he can be. Every teacher I know spends hundreds of dollars of their own money to buy classroom supplies.  Watch the national news, and you will see that teachers work in some terrible conditions, with students from all walks of life, including homelessness, to help children to move forward to a better life.  Like many of my former colleagues and friends who are still teaching, I loved being in the classroom, teaching, and all of the challenges  that came with it. I was fortunate to teach in a school district that valued teachers, and our salaries were commensurate with that value.  Many of my counterparts across the country are not so fortunate. 

I hope Deyshia Hargrave receives an apology from the school board who had her removed in Vermillion Parish, Louisiana. I applaud her courage in speaking up, when others were afraid. Deyshia knows the value of good teachers, and she is not afraid to extol that value. Here is the link about the story:  http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/10/us/louisiana-teacher-jailed-speaks/index.html   and the link about Deyshia asking for an apology: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/01/11/louisiana-teacher-demands-apology-after-being-handcuffed-meeting/1023615001/   

Indeed, the value of good teachers cannot be fully measured, and all other professions are created by those who choose a life of service through teaching.

I am grateful for the many good teachers in my life. Those wonderful educators not only encouraged me, they also were my role models and mentors. #thankateacher 

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 

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