Thursday, July 19, 2018

"I touch the future. I teach." Christa McAuliffe




I absolutely loved teaching English and Theater for 37 years, and I cried for weeks when I had to retire to care for my husband, who was dying from stage 4 colon cancer. I loved being with the kids, and I loved being with Scott, and in my heart, I knew I was losing the kids first, and that Scott would soon follow.  It was a very difficult time.

Sometimes in a crazy daydream, I am with all the kids from my entire career, at a giant party.  Of course, this would be impossible, since the total number of students in classes, study hall, cafeteria duty. coaching, and directing, would be over 15,000, and no venue holds that many people!  Still, it is a nice thought . . . to see all the kids who have become adults, to talk about high school, and to know what they are doing.

I saw a CBS "On the Road with Steve Hartman" this week that I want to share, and for a fortunate teacher from Oklahoma, seeing his former students was a dream that did come true.  Robert Moore, a retired music teacher, actually got a chance to see many of his former music students, and the student-planned meeting and concert was done as a major surprise for him!  Robert Moore directed the chorus at then same high school for 30 years, from 1966-1996. He appeared to enjoy his job as a teacher, and the students really seemed to like him. While watching this Steve Hartman story,  seeing the students who are now adults, hearing their reflections, and listening to them talk about their "tough" teacher who taught them discipline and lessons about life, I could not help myself.  I just had to cry. The influence of this chorus teacher resulted in students who became opera singers and educators, and they all said they were better people for knowing Mr. Moore and having him as their teacher. What a tremendous gift for this retired teacher! I had to share this beautiful story.

Teachers seldom receive feedback stating that they have made a difference in a student's life.  But with or without knowing, they simply go to work every day and try to do their best, while bringing out the best in the students.  Any small note or acknowledgment of "a job well done" is rare and appreciated by every teacher. 

Please watch this amazing story and elevate your day! 
https://www.cbsnews.com/live/video/20180713235330-on-the-road-with-steve-hartman-tells-the-story-of-a-touching-reunion-of-a-music-teacher-and-his-students-from-over-3-decades/

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, July 12, 2018

"The power of positive reinforcement: Praise your students, focus on their strengths . . . then watch how quickly they reach their full potential!"



I spend quite a bit of time on Twitter, tweeting articles and ideas about Education. (In fact, I was even named a top 100 Educator in Pennsylvania to follow on Twitter! @dederittman)  Many teachers and administrators tweet about the importance of creating and maintaining positive relationships with students. Although I am no longer in the classroom on a daily basis as I was for 37 years, through presenting my two books, I am still in front of many students each school year.  I have found that one thing never changes - kids and young adults thrive on being recognized and encouraged by their teacher, or even their guest speaker!  

During my entire 37 year teaching career, I always was assigned a class or two of "challenged learners", many of whom were labeled as "underachievers."  I never looked at those students according to labels put on them by the administration; I figured when they were my students, they would discover how exciting learning could be, and how inspiring achievement could be.  It turns out, that for all those years and all those students, I was right. 

If teachers only focus on the negative, they simply cannot and will not have a positive outcome.  Of course, many students come to school, lacking in skills.  And, guess what? These students already know they have a reading deficiency or spelling issue!  As a teacher, help them to build these skills, rather than dwell on their deficiencies, and let them know they are making progress!  Small triumphs will lead to bigger triumphs. Success breeds success!

Throughout my wonderful career, I had many students who faced big learning issues, including reading deficiencies, dyslexia, ADHD, lack of writing and grammatical skills, and many other problems. I worked beside them, acknowledging their progress, and asking about their feelings on their personal progress. My personal interest and guidance, along with daily encouragement, led these students to higher grades - and more learning - and even to liking learning!  A teacher has the opportunity to have great power over the manner in which students look at learning. I always shared my philosophy of "I am a lifelong learner" with my students, because I never wanted them to think I had all the answers. I enjoyed giving authentic praise when it was earned, but not empty words of "Good job!" every few minutes.  Those words are so trite when spoken automatically and so often that they are no longer authentic. The students knew that when they got a nod from me, it was well-earned. I am NOT a fan of frivolous praise. 

Every student has gifts, and it is up to the teacher to help each to discover his gifts. Focus on the positive and the potential, offer words of encouragement, and your students will blossom - even the reluctant ones.  I have 37 years of teaching experience that tells me this method works.

Teachers wield more power than they can ever know, and it is best to use that power in a positive manner. Help students to love learning, and to be the best they can be. What a wonderful opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of students!

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. 

Rittman Publishing, LLC ®


Please invite Grady Gets Glasses (and me) into your school.  if you are not in the Pittsburgh area, we do virtual field trips with a group called Field Trip Zoom. www.Fieldtripzoom.com  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, July 6, 2018

"The way you see people is the way you treat them, and the way you treat them is what they become." - Goethe





I read several articles this week about a private school in New York City's West Side that has been separating students in homerooms according to color for the past year. Parents have stopped that practice for now, but I wondered what would make a school seem to go "backward" in terms of segregation. The article said they were trying to offer "greater opportunities for connection and support."  I am having difficulty seeing how a short homeroom time could do that, but I was only in Education for 37 years, so maybe I am wrong. 

The private school is called The Little Red School House, and tuition is around $45,000 per year. One would think that this school would work very hard to please the parents and students. I am just not sure that separating students by race for homeroom is the way to do that, although some parents like idea that the school was not color blind.  (See links below)

When I was in the classroom for those 37 years, I worked very hard at trying to make sure all students felt secure and cared for by this teacher. I also tried very hard to treat all the kids equally - regardless of their gender, IQ,  social status, sexual preference, or anything else.  Had any teacher in my public school district separated kids by race, the teacher would have been FIRED with no questions asked.

Our world is so disjointed already, especially in terms of economics, politics, and religion. I always hope that school is the one place where students can learn to be themselves in an accepting and supportive environment. School students are wading through their young lives trying to figure out who they are, and I think they should have the option to do that without being caregorized on race. I agree with Goethe - "The way you see people is the way you treat them. and the way you treat them is what they become."  I prefer to treat students like they are special, gifted, talented, and wonderful human beings, as past practice shown me that they will believe it and become those things. Race has nothing to do with those intangibles. Needless to say,  I do not agree with the practice of The Little Red School House. 

If you are interested, here is the link to the article:  https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Private-School-That-Separated-Students-into-Homerooms-By-Race-Ending-Policy-487061081.html  and another link http://atlantablackstar.com/2018/07/03/private-nyc-school-separates-students-based-on-race-for-cultural-reasons-spark-backlash-from-angry-parents/

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, June 29, 2018

"Kindness should become the natural way of life, not the exception". - Buddha




Writing a weekly blog is not always easy.  I try to pay careful attention to others around me to find topics and inspiration, and I found both at church on Sunday in a sermon given by Del Treese.

Our church youth group traveled to Wisconsin for what was called "A Week of Hope."  The group of teens and adult chaperones was divided into smaller groups and given assignments to help in specific venues.  Some went to the local YMCA to be with small children, to play games with them, help them to learn some basic skills, and provide friendship.  Another group was assigned to be companions and engage with a group of adults and young adults with physical and mental challenges and disabilities. When the youth group came together at the end of each day, they shared stories of their experiences and what they learned. As I listened to Del Treese give this sermon, I thought about the trip title, "A Week of Hope,"  and I decided this: in reality, no one has to travel or be a part of a group to give hope.  Every person has the ability to give hope by showing kindness and support to others every day. Simple gestures of kindness toward others can have a major impact. 

Think about an unexpected kindness someone did for you.  How did you feel?  Isn't it a marvelous feeling to know that YOU are important to someone, and that someone is thinking of YOU?  Just imagine a world in which everyone is courteous of others!  That world would be so wonderful!  I am so glad that the young people in my church had positive experiences to share, and I hope they will continue their kindnesses beyond one week. I really like knowing that our young people are being groomed to be kind.

I confess that I look for opportunities to show kindness, like taking someone's cart back to the store when they are finished unloading groceries to their car, or giving a compliment to a stranger.  I like giving smiles, and I also enjoy receiving them in return.  Days spent showing kindness just make my heart feel lighter!  

I agree with Buddha - "Kindness should become the natural way of life, not the exception."  Do you agree?  If you haven't already done so, try sharing a smile or a random act of kindness. The results might surprise you.


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 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
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Facebook   Dede Faltot Rittman or Rittman Rules
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