Thursday, January 23, 2020

"Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another . . ." Alfred Adler



During the 35 years that I taught at North Allegheny Intermediate High School, a good friend was a health teacher, with a wonderful lesson about empathy.  Our building was just two grades - 9 and 10 - and Health was required for one semester in 9th grade.  If you have taught high school, you know that 9th graders are very impetuous and even more impatient, but Debbie Stackrow taught the kids about being patient with the elderly, which in Pittsburgh, PA, is the largest population in our demographic.  She had a variety of activities for this lesson, but I am focusing on just one. 

As I recall, the kids had to wear glasses with some masking tape on the lenses and just a little window to see through (mimicking cataracts and macular degeneration); their fingers were taped together to promote immobility (arthritis); and I think some had to use a walker or cane, with hard kernels of corn in their shoes (joint pain/arthritis.).  The students were asked to pretend "pay" a pretend "cashier" from a small change purse while wearing the glasses and using the taped fingers and holding the cane, which took much more time than they expected, and the whole thing was as frustrating for the payee as it was for the payer.  Suddenly, the students in the classroom FELT what is was like to have those problems that strap the elderly population, and it was a true moment of awakening for everyone.

After the activity, the students discussed their frustration of having the faux handicaps of old age, as well as the manner in which they (the students) reacted to older people when they encountered them in everyday life.  Debbie gave her classes so much to think about from that lesson. Oh, the power of a good teacher!

I sort of had to laugh at myself this week as I thought about my school days teaching and Debbie's lesson.  I have been having terrible knee pain for 6 months, which has now become even worse.  In fact, walking is such a difficulty,  I found myself leaning on a cane to walk into the doctor's office, and using a walker while wearing a splint on the way out.  Suddenly, I had young people in my path who "made way" for my temporary walker.  They were perfectly appropriate, but Debbie's lesson immediately came to mind, as today was my first time as a challenged older adult.  I never thought I would be old enough to need a cane or a walker!

My mother taught my brothers and me to honor our elders and to help them as best we could. I have always practiced the Golden Rule and empathy, and today I was the receiver of the that empathy from others.   

Despite the political climate in America, I continue to believe that people are good at heart.  

I am now on an anti-inflammatory medication and my knee is doing a little better.  I have an MRI on Monday, and I have ditched the cane, but what a lesson to remember.  Empathy is so important - and our world would be so much better if everyone practiced empathy. 



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


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




Visit Dede's 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, January 16, 2020

"In a world where you can be anything, be kind."

Emily's quotes

I am an avid Twitter fan and every day I read so much about Education.  So many are doomsayers, but from what I have seen lately, I think teachers are doing a great job with shaping our young people.

Just yesterday, I gave my "BE AN AUTHOR" presentation to an after school group called JAM at Avonworth Primary School. Started by just two girls, the group makes and sells items for the good of others. This article explains the group and its purpose.  https://www.wpxi.com/news/proud-to-be-from-pittsburgh/proud-to-be-from-pittsburgh-avonworth-jam/939598216/ The kids ranged from kindergarten to grade 6, and with just a few teachers, everyone seemed to know their purpose and expectations.  Big kids were helping little kids, there was lots of activity, and everyone seemed happy.  This was my second visit to this school in just a few months.  "Be the kind kid" shirts and signs are everywhere!  Here is a picture I took of one of the signs plastered throughout the school!





This school practices being a kind school, and the manners and demeanor of the kids and the staff model exemplary behaviors. 

I feel so lucky that I have had the opportunities to present at this beautiful school!  With great work like this going on in elementary schools, I feel the safety of our future leaders is in good hands. 


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


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




Visit Dede's 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, January 8, 2020

"Teaching is a very noble profession that shapes the character, caliper, and future of an individual." Abdul Kalam


A Z Quotes 


I know have said this before, but I simply must say it again:  I love teaching.  And today at Thiel College,  I really loved teaching! 

My student teaching book (Student Teaching: The Inside Scoop from a Master Teacher, www.dederittman.com or Amazon) was the impetus for my presentation to the second semester's student teachers and the Education Department at Thiel College in Greenville, PA. Dr. Douglas Hazlett, Department Chair, has added my text to the required reading for Education majors.  Doug is a man who has more years in the "real world" public school K-12 sector than he has in the university, and he likes using what he calls my "practitioner's handbook" with the students, to show real world experiences. I find this to be quite flattering, since common sense and solid advice learned from 37 years in the classroom is what I offer!

As I met and spoke with the new crop of student teachers, I discovered that their first day in the classroom will be tomorrow.  Both the terror and excitement of anticipating that first day shone on their faces, and I remembered how I felt all those years ago. I can still recall those emotions as I anticipated student teaching : fear, excitement, self-doubt, pride, panic, then back to excitement.  Even now, after all those years, I honestly can't think of any other profession that offers the thrill and excitement of teaching, because only in teaching is one shaping young minds, introducing new ideas, and shaping the future of the world.  

My presentation -Three C's for Classroom Success: Confidence, Communication, and Creativity - was well received, and many points seemed to hit the mark with the the students and the professors as well.  The student teachers reacted with lots of laughter and head shaking, as well as excitement. Although they were not a hugely talkative group, I could see that they are passionate about their subject areas, and that they are eager to share their passion for learning with others.They seemed to be well-prepared, and I also really like that! I also liked that they were dressed for success, confident, and ready to face a new challenge. They were already formulating their philosophy of teaching, and when I head words like "empathy" and "caring" and "growth" in our discussion, I knew this was a great group. 


One of the many things I shared with this terrific group is this truth: no one knows where a teacher's influence ends, if, indeed, it ever ends. Personally, I believe that influence goes on into infinity. In my own life, I can think of and refer to many teachers who shaped my life and my teaching career.  The group of student teachers I met with today brings me great hope. Hope for today, and hope for tomorrow.  I feel confident that this group will share positive influences in their new classrooms, graduate from college, and become teachers and influencers for the next generation. 

You see, I believe that there is no higher calling than being a teacher, and I am so glad these students heard that calling to shape the minds of the future.

 Best wishes in your new lives as teachers! I hope you LOVE it!



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


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




Visit Dede's 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 ® 












Sunday, December 29, 2019

"Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right." Oprah Winfrey




No question about it.

Everyone needs a fresh start and a new year.  Everyone needs the count to begin at ONE again.  Everyone has something from 2019 to forget.

I think the new year comes at just about the right time.  It's winter time, which in the northern part of the country forces a better focus on work, with no poolside, backyard barbecues,  and golf to beckon us away from work.  

January 1 is a great time to start over. Here is my top 5 list of things to leave behind:

1.  Anger.  Start the new year in a positive manner.  I know this sounds difficult, but let go of the anger that made you so unhappy and frustrated in 2019.  When you carry anger, the anger is poisoning YOU.  Forgiveness will make you feel so much better.

2. Self-doubt.  You really have so much going for you, so there is no need to compare yourself to others, as they have not had your same journey.  Look at yourself through fresh eyes- squint a little bit so you don't see those comparisons.  Make a list of your good qualities and the things you do well.  Make a list of those who love you.  Keep the lists where you can see them!  You are so much more than you know.

3.  Jealousy.  Oh, that green-eyed monster lurks everywhere, feeding on people who give into its whims.  Were you passed over for a promotion?  Maybe the other person worked harder, or maybe they were related to the boss!  You can just keep being the best YOU there is - and forge ahead.  Jealousy will consume you - not the other person, and just like anger, the jealousy is poisoning YOU.  Let it go.

4. Negative thinking.  I have come to the conclusion that we are what we think.  I have coached and played thousands of rounds of golf in my lifetime, and if you say to yourself,
 "I 'm afraid I am going to choke on this shot", you surely will.  When that little negative voice comes into your head, replace it immediately by thinking of something you did well.  It is impossible for the human brain to think of two thoughts at the same time, so keep the positive thoughts going.

5. Dreaming - without acting upon those dreams.  This one is really tough!  Everyone has a dream, but dreams don't come true unless we work toward them.  What do you want to do?  Write a book?  Set aside a little time each day to begin - which is the first step.  Do you want to start your own business?  Make an appointment at a bank to see what kind of capital they are willing to lend.  Do you want to lose weight?  (I think we all do.) Visualize yourself thinner and set small goals.  No one can lose 20 pounds in one week!  Change one thing you do each day - like cut out the sweet office snack at 3:00 and replace it with some fresh cut vegetables.  You will save so many calories!

So, there is my top list of things to leave behind in 2020.  Human beings need new beginnings - an unplug and restart is just the impetus we all need to be better.  A personal note about the anger issue - I carried anger for several years, and it really bothered me.  I also carried the hurt that went with that anger, until one day when the load just got too heavy, and I tossed it aside.  I even told others that I had thrown the old anger over my shoulder, never looking back.  I feel much lighter now, and you will, too.  Letting go of anger and forgiving others will improve your life.

Wishing you a very happy and healthy new 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  and a company called www.StreamableLearning.com GRADY GETS GLASSES was the winner of Best New Children's Book 2016 and 2018 (new edition) from The Authors' Zone.Grady also won a 2018 prestigious Moonbeam Award for Best Children's Book with Merchandise.




Visit Dede's 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, December 19, 2019

"Christmas isn't a season. It's a feeling." Edna Ferber

Brainy Quotes

I am a big fan of Christmas.  I like the carols, the decorations, the food, the merriment, the presents, and the tree.  Best of all, I like the manner in which the Christmas season makes everyone just a little bit nicer.  In fact, I would say that kindness and generosity rule during the Christmas season.

I believe the whole world needs Christmas, and I know for sure that America needs Christmas!   In a time that United States is more divided than any other time in our history, except perhaps during the Civil War, we REALLY need Christmas. 

My Christmas list: I hope the Christmas season can help all to put aside their differences and work toward resolution.  I hope that some vacation time can help those who are stressed to the breaking point.  I hope families can celebrate together without drama.  I hope all in your lives is peaceful, and that love surrounds you. 

Merry Christmas. 

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


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




Visit Dede's 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, December 13, 2019

"Gratitude is the memory of the heart." Jean Baptiste Massieu

Quotestosaythanks.com 


Although I usually write about Education and Inspiration, today I am writing about GRATITUDE.  December 12, 2009, my world changed forever when my Always healthy husband was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.  He was essentially handed a death sentence, with about one year to live. We were devastated, and suddenly all the plans we made for the future evaporated like steam, as we formulated a game plan for chemo and surgery to try to save his life. .

Before that day, we were happy and in love.  We had so many friends and opened our home to so many who had nowhere to go.  We were each other's best friends, as well as lovers, and although we often spoke of how lucky we were to have each other, our families, our beautiful home, our jobs, and our friends, I believe we never felt the true meaning of those things until that day.  I don't think we were grateful enough, until we knew we were going to lose it all.

I can't be too hard on myself, because I think it is human nature to accept gifts without fully appreciating them.  I'm not even sure you can appreciate something fully, until it is threatened.  One does not appreciate breathing.

My message this week - take a few silent moments to look at your life and your loved ones.  Tell them you love and appreciate them.  If you are religious, speak the three word prayer often spoken by Mister Rogers - "Thank you, God."  Be open in showing your GRATITUDE to people and to the Universe.  

Life can change in a single heartbeat; be thankful for your life and for those you love.  Dede

This picture was taken on December 12, 2008, at Diamond Run Golf Club, exactly ONE YEAR before Scott was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.  Who knew this would happen?  



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


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




Visit Dede's 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, December 5, 2019

"When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves." William Arthur Ward

Random Acts of Kindness Foundation 


Last week, I was part of an awesome interview/podcast with Juan Campos, an educator I know only from Twitter. We have been following each other's tweets, and we connected strongly about our shared outlook of what teaching is all about.

We think teaching is about kindness, connection, and high expectations, as we look for the best in each of our students.

Juan and I contrasted stories about those teachers who practice the "Don't smile until Christmas" philosophy with our own "Extend yourself, be your authentic kind self, and show kindness" approach.  We like our practicing philosophy better.

Juan and I believe that every student is a person, to be treated with dignity and respect.  We believe that students respond to a kind heart, an encouraging word, and a personal connection. We believe that when students know the teacher believes they can achieve, that the possibilities for success are endless. 

One of my stories concerns a Theater class I taught, with 17 gifted students and 3 special needs students.  On the very first day, I said that our group would become a family, and that families share and learn from each other, and that each person in the class had something to teach the others, and that everyone should extend himself to others.  This class story of transformation and kindness is one of the favorites in my career. The students were ALL included, in every way, every day. Throughout the semester, I called every parent to tell them of the way in which our class had become a family, offering specific examples of kindness and inclusion.  I cried during each of there phone calls, and the parents cried with me. It is amazing how a teacher can set expectations of kindness and inclusion, and the rest of the class practices those values. I set the expectation, I believed in the students, and they did not disappoint.  And somehow, through this entire experience, I became a better teacher and human being because I was fortunate to teach this class. 

Thank you, Juan Campos, for allowing me to articulate my passion for teaching - even now, when I am retired. Thank you for sharing your fire for helping students to be their best.  I only wish we could have been colleagues!   

I will post the link to the interview as soon as Juan uploads it!  

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


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




Visit Dede's 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
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