Wednesday, April 18, 2018

"At the end of your life . . .you will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent." Barbara Bush


Barbara Bush died on April 17, 2018.  The matriarch of the Bush clan, she is one of only two women who were married to the President and then had a son who became President,  Abigail Adams being the other.

I have long been a big fan of Barbara Bush.  I felt that she was the most authentic of the First Ladies I have known in my lifetime. True to herself, she spoke her mind, and she gave tough love to her family and those around her. Her self-deprecating humor and quick wit made her my favorite.  First the nation's mom, and then the nation's grandmother, she became the conscience of those she knew. The news reports are full of the positive influence she had on others.

As an English teacher, I loved her platform as First Lady.  Mrs. Bush wanted to promote Literacy, a goal that was deceivingly so simple, yet so fundamentally right, since all of a person's success depends on his ability to read. Always a woman to encourage others, the many videos of her reading aloud to children shows her purpose and devotion to her cause.

The United States lost a great lady yesterday.  God speed, Mrs. Bush, and thank you for your lessons about honor and honesty, service to country, and your dazzling authenticity. Thank you for making Literacy a priority. Thank you for speaking out about love and devotion to family. Thank you for showing the world what true love looks like in your long and enduring marriage to President Bush, 41. You will be missed. 




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, April 13, 2018

"Technology can become the 'wings' that will allow the educational world to fly farther and faster than ever before-if we allow it." Jenny Arledge



Although I retired in June of 2011 to care for my dying husband, I continue to keep up with technology in my new career as a writer, speaker, and entrepreneur.  I enjoy the challenge of learning new things, and most of all, I enjoy connecting with students and teachers across the globe! 

I work with two separate entities, www.fieldtripzoom.com and www.streamablelearning.com.  These two companies offer virtual field trips around the world, allowing students and  teachers to visit places they would never be able to reach in person.  The sheer number of presenters, as well as the museums, art galleries, etc., make these trips irresistible as well as educational. If you miss the actual presentation, your membership still allows you to log in and catch it. 

For my part, I offer two different presentations on my children's book GRADY GETS GLASSES, as well as two presentations for grades 7-12 on Study Skills and presentation Skills- both taking the student from high school to college to real life. A few weeks ago, I had students in my class from Turkey!  Technology has lassoed the entire world and brought us together! I still love teaching, and being able to have an impact on children's lives worldwide is a great gift to me.

If you are a teacher or administrator, please take a look at these two companies.  Home schooling parent?  These field trips are perfect for you! 

Education has changed exponentially in the 7 years I have been gone, but I am not going to be left behind!  Take a step forward with your students and see how technology can enrich their education. 


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, April 6, 2018

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




Teachers in Oklahoma walked out of the classroom this past week, and their low salaries were not the only reason.  They were protesting the conditions under which they are teaching- outdated and crumbling textbooks, broken student furniture, lack of supplies for students, and more.  If you have not seen any of these pictures, take a look at this article:  https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/04/04/oklahoma-teachers-share-photos-broken-chairs-crumbling-outdated-textbooks/486267002/

For years, these teachers have been trying to bring out the best in their students under terrible conditions.I feel sure that there were many discussions of how both teachers and students felt devalued and disrespected by the school board and those who provide funds for materials.  I can remember years ago when our TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD books were in terrible condition.  We had some back ordered, but I had to hand out the ones I had taped together, or in some cases, taped, and then circled with a rubber band.  The kids felt like they were not important enough to receive a "real" book, not one that had been put together by me.  To set the example of learning through hardship, I used the same paperback edition of MOCKINGBIRD for 35 years.  No binding was left; the entire book was loose leaf, bound by 2 rubber bands.  I could literally "take out chapter 12."  This book held all my notes, all my references, and all of the important highlighted parts to review.  I always told the kids that it is not the condition of the book that is important, but what is inside the book. My point is this:  no one likes to feel devalued and unimportant.  The students in the Oklahoma schools do not even have decent chairs to sit on, and their books are both outdated and falling apart. 

Can you imagine working in a business that has demanding expectations, and then given no resources with which to meet those expectations?  That is exactly what the Oklahoma teachers have been doing for years!

I applaud these teachers for standing up for themselves and their students!  It is time!  Educating our students today so they can become leaders of tomorrow is paramount.  

I hope the teachers get everything they deserve, and more - including the respect of the community. 




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, March 29, 2018

"A child who reads will be an adult who thinks." Unknown


I had a conversation this past week with someone who thought that 100% of Americans are literate.  Nothing about that statement is true; in fact, about 1 in 7 Americans cannot read, which comes to about 32,000,000 people. ( https://www.statisticbrain.com/number-of-american-adults-who-cant-read/ )  I was a 10th grade English teacher for 37 years, and the number of students who read significantly below grade level was astounding!  

How does this happen?

Sometimes, students struggle for years with non-diagnosed learning disabilities, like dyslexia , language processing problems, disgraphia, visual perception problems, etc. When learning disabilities are present, teachers must find alternate pathways to the brain to promote learning.  When a student has been struggling his entire school life, and then discovers in 9th grade that he has a learning disability, the amount of work to "catch up" is overwhelming. Also, some students feel embarrassment that they have a learning disability, and they are not willing to embrace the work and labels that accompany the diagnosis. Being a teenager is so difficult, and being labeled makes life even harder.

For some students, schoolwork holds no interest. They are content to get by, meandering through the system with no plan and no motivation.  Sometimes, parents are not involved in a student's education, which hurts the student. Some students have failed and are unwilling to try again. Those students hurt themselves and any chance for future success.

What can teachers do to encourage reading? Early childhood and elementary teachers can provide a climate that encourages reading.  They can make classroom libraries with comfortable reading areas. They can discuss books with "teasers" that help to hook students into reading. They can invite local authors to visit and discuss the writing process. They can be readers themselves, and share their love of books and learning with their classes. 

Encouraging reading in high school is trickier.  Many students have already shut down from reading, so the teacher needs to work harder to spark that interest.  I taught in a program for challenged learners and reluctant readers for 34 years. I chose short, high interest pieces to whet their reading appetites, and  although they were in 10th grade, I often read aloud.  Using many voices and an assortment of inflections, the pages and characters became alive for the students, and they slowly began to read on their own.  Many lacked comprehension skills, so I created structured guides with funny twists to keep them on task and understanding.  For example, when we read Raold Dahl's short story Lamb to the Slaughter, I created a worksheet in which the student was the detective. Students were even required to draw the position of the body, and the murder weapon (a leg of lamb!)  These funny questions actually required close reading, and the kinesthetic learners enjoyed drawing their answers. In terms of vocabulary, I also spent time promoting what students already knew. When a new word presented itself, I had students think about a work they already knew that might look or sound a bit like the new word.  We spent time on roots and suffixes and prefixes, until students could take a new word apart and guess at a meaning. We drew examples of vocabulary words, which helped them to remember.  For example, the word exhilarate.  A student drew a picture of a stick figure surrounded by dollar signs jumping up and down, with the text, "I was EXHILARATED when I won the power ball jackpot!"  Having a connection to the word helps many visual learners, and my students were very successful at improving their vocabularies with this method.

Each year that I taught English, I gave a reading test on the second day of school and in the last week of school.  Most students gained 3-5 years of reading comprehension during our school year together. For some, that was close to grade level. Good initiatives from the teacher and hard work from the students can spell a modicum of success.

I have always loved reading, and I worked hard to promote the love of reading in my students.  I was not always successful, but not for lack of trying.

Reading is the most fundamental skill.  Teachers must do their best to promote literacy in every grade. 


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 ® 




















Saturday, March 24, 2018

"A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops." Henry Adams


I had a book signing at a restaurant in the Alle-Kiski Valley this week, near the little town where I grew up.  I met a very nice man who is the nephew of my former grade 12 Honors English teacher, Mrs. Margaret Walters, who passed away some time ago.  We spoke about her fondly, exchanging stories and remembering the terrific woman she was. My chance encounter with him took me back to the 1969-70 school year, my senior year.

Honors English was a brand new course, in a school district that was only in its second year of existence, as a result of a merger of two districts. My class was the first to attend high school in the the brand new building known as Highlands High School. As if Senior Year were not already so exciting, so many extraneous extras were added to make it even more exciting.

Students are greatly influenced by all teachers, whether the teacher is a good role model or a poor role model.  I was influenced by Margaret Walters, who was like a whirling dervish with her brilliant orange-red hair, her quick wit, her wealth of knowledge,  her desire to share said knowledge, and her ability to do so many things and serve so many people - at the same time. The very first day of school, she handed out 17 books we would be studying first semester.  (They took up most of my locker.) Our Senior Year was not just big for us, it was also an important year for Mrs. Walters, who was working toward her doctorate that year, and completing her doctoral thesis, taking evening classes, and teaching full time.  Somehow, she found a way to type the entire Canterbury Tales (on dittos!) for our class, because the district did not buy the books!  Who types the Canterbury Tales? She also typed A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift, and other full texts that she said we needed to read and understand.  Additionally, Mrs. Walters was an excellent writing teacher, with clear and concise handouts, and she made everything she taught seem almost like she was sharing secret knowledge with our class. Margaret Walters'  sheer number of handouts was legendary - and I should know, because I kept them all.  When I was a new teacher, looking for a better approach to teaching, I would revisit the handouts from honors English class, in those two big boxes, the kind of box that holds ten reams of paper. I would look at my notes, and I could actually still hear and remember the words she was speaking.  Mrs. Walters was a teacher who was passionate about her subject, and she could hold our class spellbound in the quest for knowledge.  Mrs. Walters never missed a day of school for illness that year, but she did miss for a few meetings.  In her absence, she left voluminous notes on the board with instructions to our class, and even with no substitute teacher, we continued our work as it she were there.  Her clear cut and insanely high expectations encouraged all to do their best. She became Dr. Walters that school year, and we had a class picnic and party to celebrate her achievements, and ours, too.  As a group and as individuals, we were so successful, because our red-haired teacher believed in us, and brought out the best in each one of us. 

I was a teacher for 37 years, and each day, I would try to remember how I felt as a student.  I think teachers need to remember what it felt like on the other side of the desk. I also worked to emulate the best teachers of my school experience, while avoiding the practices of my worst teachers.  Margaret Walters was one of my very best teachers, and she not only shaped me as a student, she continued to influence me in my professional life.

I saw Mrs. Walters r about 20 years ago, and she was so proud of my accomplishments as a teacher, and she was delighted that I had followed her path and became an English teacher. I told her that she was one of the people who had influenced my life, and she was pleased. 

Teachers are so underrated in society, yet they do so much to shape young people. I am grateful that Dr. Margaret Walters was my teacher.  I am grateful that I had the chance to tell her how much I valued her.  I am grateful that she made me become a better teacher. "A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops." Henry Adams

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, March 16, 2018

"So remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet." Stephen Hawking


Stephen Hawking died on the 30th anniversary of the celebration of Pi day, March 14, 2018, which curiously, is Albert Einstein's birthday.  By the way, Stephen's birthday happened on another star-crossed day,  300 years  after Galileo's death day. It's all about time, right?

Have you ever known anyone with Lou Gehrig's disease, also known as ALS? I have known several people who were diagnosed with the "death sentence" disease, and they died within the prescribed time limit of two years.  Stephen Hawking astounded the world by living with and defying the disease for over 50 years, and he also astounded the world with his thinking. 

Here is a huge understatement - Stephen Hawking was a brilliant man.  Forced to be an observer and confined to a wheelchair, he became even more of a thinker and examiner, looking at the world as no man ever had.  His brilliance, however, did not preclude him from the ability to explain ideas. He simplified "particles in the Universe" quantum theory and black holes in such a way that even those of us with no science or math propensities could grasp the basic concepts. Making the difficult fathomable and palatable is a gift;  indeed, Stephen Hawking was a truly talented teacher.  Can you think of anyone other than Stephen Hawking who could write a book about explaining the universe -  and keep it on the bestseller list for 237 weeks?  The book to which I am referring was written in 1988, A Brief History of Time.  (Such a catchy title for a scientific bestseller.)  There is no other book to compare ; Stephen Hawking made us want to learn about science and mysteries of the Universe. 

Beyond his amazing mind, his theories, and his contributions to the world of science, the man was also a great philosopher and optimist.  Can you think about being confined to a wheelchair at the age of 21, and losing the ability to speak?  I am sure that many of the people I know would suffer from great depression, and give up.   Instead of allowing his health to defeat him, he pressed on, expanding his mind and theories. Stephen looked at the bright side, even when he seemed to be surrounded by darkness.  The picture quote above is one of my favorite inspirational quotations, although so many more inspiring quotes are attributed to him. .

Thank you, Stephen Hawking.  That you for sharing your knowledge, your original mind and brilliant thoughts and theories, as well as your positive outlook.  You were a great teacher to millions of people around the world, and also a constant source of inspiration. You even made us laugh, with your biting sense of humor, with your appearances on The Simpsons and The Big Bang Theory, and so many people appreciate you, including me.  

Just like a wonderful teacher, you touched so many lives, and you made a difference.  

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, March 10, 2018

"It's not our disabilities, it's our abilities that count." Chris Burke




The Paralympics have commenced in Pyeongchang, but not to the fame and acclaim of the Winter Olympics.  No matter - watch just a few moments of the coverage, and you will be immersed in pure inspiration.

During my 37 year career in the classroom, coaching, and directing, I was fortunate to be assigned many students with physical, mental, and emotional challenges.  Students with special needs require lots of work on the teacher's side, but the work pales in comparison to the rewards gained by the student. I was thinking about my past life in the classroom as I viewed some uplifting videos about the remarkable participants in the Paralympics. They have, in some cases, redefined themselves, as they reach for their personal goals. As a teacher, I always looked for a student's ABILITIES, rather than his disabilities, which led to success for the student.  Many of the athletes in the Paralympics have been surrounded with love and encouragement from caring adults, helping them to do their best, making each one a winner.

The most important gift of all, in my opinion, is the self-confidence that comes with hard work and trying one's best, making the disability an integral part of the person and dealing with it, rather than simply overcoming it.  The disability is acknowledged and embraced; it is the athlete's "normal", and he performs with the disability, rather than despite the disability. #inspiration 

Take a look at this clip of a young skiing star whose life changed after a bout with cancer.  https://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/video/paralympian-thomas-walsh-s-love-of-skiing-never-wavered-1169702467831  

I am inspired by these athletes who have worked so hard. Kudos to the Paralympics! 

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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