Saturday, October 21, 2017

"We own our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear." Nelson Mandela





Something truly shocking happened in Pittsburgh earlier this week after school at Martin Luther King Learning Center, a K-8 building in the Pittsburgh Public School District.  The story begins with a teacher  taking a cell phone from a 10 year old fourth grade girl during class time.  The district has a strict "no cell phone" policy, so teacher Janice Watkins was doing her job. According to reports, the girl bit the teacher during the process of confiscating  her phone. Consequently, Miss Watkins met with the girl's mother after school regarding the cell phone incident. The mother told the teacher she would "get even" with her for taking her child's phone. (Do you see any red flags?)

After the meeting,  Ms. Watkins was driving to a clinic to have the human bite evaluated and treated. She was not aware that she was being followed in another car by the girl's mother and a man, who allegedly threw a brick through her car window, taking out some of Ms. Watkins' teeth. They dragged her out of the carr to beat, punch, and assault her.  All of this happened in the middle of traffic on Pittsburgh's North Shore, on a very busy street. 

WHAT???? 

I am stunned. The teacher did nothing wrong, so there was nothing with which to "get even." The girl was violating a school policy, which teachers are expected to enforce.  This mother's behavior is unacceptable for so many reasons!

Think of the terrible lessons the parent of the 10 year old girl is teaching their child;  lessons like "You do not have to follow school rules," and "Intimidation and threatening are appropriate," and "Violence is the answer."  My heart sinks, and and then breaks, to think of the domestic atmosphere in which that child is being reared.  How will she ever learn appropriate methods for dealing with life's problems?  The world is violent enough without seeing one's parent perpetrating violence against a teacher. 

Being a teacher is a difficult job, and the pay is never enough for all the work that goes into the job.  Most teachers have no real "life" during the school year - their entire focus is about working and students and school. Teachers teach because they love children and learning, and they want to make a difference.  I would not blame Muss  Watkins if she did not return to her classroom after this terrible and unthinkable assault.  She was simply doing her job, and she did not deserve the stalking, the brick, and the assault. 

Here are several links to this news story, including the link from WPXI, in which the attacker called the station and said she had no remorse for her actions.  The world is becoming too crazy; teaching used to be a safe job.  Students used to be afraid that if they got in trouble at school, they would be in twice as much trouble when they arrived home.  Not now -  some parents want the teacher to take all the responsibility and they will not assign any blame to their own children.  I think I am glad to be retired.  

The mother of the girl was arrested for stalking and assault and the teacher is recuperating at home at this writing. 

http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2017/10/18/teacher-assault-north-side-school/ 

http://www.wpxi.com/news/top-stories/woman-arrested-for-attack-on-pittsburgh-teacher/626613600

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. 

Rittman Publishing, LLC ®



Please invite Grady Gets Glasses (and me) into your school.  if you are not in the Pittsburgh area, we do virtual field trips with a group called Field Trip Zoom. www.Fieldtripzoom.com  GRADY GETS GLASSES was the winner of Best New Children's Book 2016 from The Authors' Zone. For more information about The Authors' Zone, please visit http://www.theauthorszone.com/submissions/  


Visit Dede's webpage for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required readingSigned copies are available  www.dederittman.com Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics. 

I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books.  Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self.  However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired! 

Elementary teachers in Western Pennsylvania and beyond - I am willing to come into your classroom in person or as a virtual field trip through a group called Field Trip Zoom.  Check them out!  http://www.fieldtripzoom.com/ 

Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book.  I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies available for purchase in your classrooms following the reading.  Please email me at dederittman@gmail.com  The website www.gradygetsglasses.com now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!

Please like Dede's new page Grady Gets Glasses for updates about her children's book. https://www.facebook.com/gradygetsglasses?ref=hl 

Connect with Dede!

Twitter       @dederittman
Periscope   @dederittman
Facebook   Dede Faltot Rittman or Rittman Rules
LinkedIn   Dede Rittman
Google +   Dede Rittman
Tumblr      The Bunny Teacher
Instagram   dede_rittman 
Pinterest   Rittman Publishing, LLC ® 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

"Failure is not the opposite of success - it's part of success." Arianna Huffington




I read many articles on Education each week, and this week,  I read a really interesting article about teenagers and anxiety.  After being in the high school classroom for 37 years, I have seen more than my share of anxious students.  However, cases of anxiety and depression in teens seem to be growing exponentially, and I was truly alarmed by the statistics in this article.  I would like to share a personal observation with you.

First, here is the link to the article.  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/11/magazine/why-are-more-american-teenagers-than-ever-suffering-from-severe-anxiety.html  Besides the obvious stressors, such as more and more standardized tests, schools removing recess time to teach to the test, thus making even small children more anxious, and pressures from peers, parents, teachers, and social media to perform, I noticed one statement in the article that really caught my attention. A boy named Jake had asced all the tests in middle school, and now in high school, with even more pressure, he was in fear of failing, and his fear and anxiety were ruining his life.  Reading this article forced me to reflect upon some of my anxiety issues at school.  I was never particularly bright in science, which caused me many sleepless nights. However, I knew what it was like to fail and to lose, so my anxiety did not control me. 

Many students have never failed at anything in their entire lives, and they are afraid to fail. I think too many participation trophies have been distributed, and I also believe that  too many parents and teachers and coaches are telling students that "You are ALL winners!" That statement will never be true, in academics, in sports, or in life. Adults who say those kinds of words are doing a great disservice to children.

When I posted the linked article above on Twitter, one of my Twitter colleagues reinforced my thinking when she tweeted this reply to me: Jodi Meadows, PhD‏ @drjodimeadows Replying to @dederittman "I teach honors college freshman. They have nearly no experience with failure. It’s devastating when they hit the academic wall at transition."

I believe that kids need to lose sometimes.  As I look back at my life, I remember many times I did not win.  Sometimes, I did not put enough effort into the project, so it was my fault.  Lesson learned- if you want to win and excel, you must put the time and effort into your dream.  Sometimes, I lost when it wasn't my fault., like 7th grade cheerleader tryouts. (For the record, I could never do a split.) I wasn't the best or the worst, but I recall looking at the list of team names of the girls who were selected, thinking that most of those chosen had a connection to the school, through a faculty or school board member.  I specifically remember discussing this with my wise mother, who  explained that sometimes, even when you work hard, you will not win, because of circumstances beyond your control.  Although that was a difficult lesson to learn at age 12, that knowledge helped me to understand many future events in my life, when politics and nepotism reigned over simply choosing the best candidate.

Parents and teachers and coaches must stop coddling young people and filling their heads with the "everybody is a winner" philosophy.  Kids need to learn that it is OK  if they are not in first place every time.  Participation trophies should be thrown out.  Kids need to learn that win or lose, life goes on, and that regardless of how bright they are, life will sometimes make them come in last place.  Losing, like failure, offers many lessons.

I urge all educators to share and discuss this insightful article.Students need to learn that failure and success are not polar opposites, but rather that failure can be an igniter for success.  They just need adults to explain how failure and losing can be beneficial to learning and success. We owe it to our children to teach this concept in order to ease their anxiety. The greatest amateur golfer of all time, Bobby Jones, summed it up in this quote: "I never learned a thing from a tournament I won." 






As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. 

Rittman Publishing, LLC ®

Please invite Grady Gets Glasses (and me) into your school.  if you are not in the Pittsburgh area, we do virtual field trips with a group called Field Trip Zoom. www.Fieldtripzoom.com  GRADY GETS GLASSES was the winner of Best New Children's Book 2016 from The Authors' Zone. For more information about The Authors' Zone, please visit http://www.theauthorszone.com/submissions/  


Visit Dede's webpage for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required readingSigned copies are available  www.dederittman.com Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics. 

I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books.  Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self.  However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired! 

Elementary teachers in Western Pennsylvania and beyond - I am willing to come into your classroom in person or as a virtual field trip through a group called Field Trip Zoom.  Check them out!  http://www.fieldtripzoom.com/ 

Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book.  I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies available for purchase in your classrooms following the reading.  Please email me at dederittman@gmail.com  The website www.gradygetsglasses.com now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!

Please like Dede's new page Grady Gets Glasses for updates about her children's book. https://www.facebook.com/gradygetsglasses?ref=hl 

Connect with Dede!

Twitter       @dederittman
Periscope   @dederittman
Facebook   Dede Faltot Rittman or Rittman Rules
LinkedIn   Dede Rittman
Google +   Dede Rittman
Tumblr      The Bunny Teacher
Instagram   dede_rittman 
Pinterest   Rittman Publishing, LLC ® 





Sunday, October 8, 2017

"Coaching is about helping young people have a chance to succeed. . . One of the greatest honors a person can have is being called 'Coach'." Lou Holtz


I am both humbled and honored to be the recipient of a The Distinguished Coaching Award, as I was inducted into the North Allegheny Hall of Fame on October 5. I coached Girls' and then Boys' Golf for 33 years, and I served on the WPIAL (Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League, which governs all high schools sports in the area) for 37 years.  I loved teaching, but I adored coaching. Nothing is better. 

I am posting part of my acceptance speech this week to inspire teachers to work with students outside the classroom.  Although my late husband and I did not have our own children, coaching allowed me to have hundreds of students to influence, and a fulfilling life of service. I am posting this blog to inspire teachers to do more, by connecting with students outside the classroom.  I think I captured my career in this short speech: 


Good evening.  I am humbled to be here tonight as an honoree along with so many fine athletes, many of whom were my students. Congratulations to everyone!

Those who know me know that I usually prefer to speak extemporaneously, but this occasion is so momentous that I wrote myself a few notes.

Let me begin by saying I love the game of golf, which offers so many lessons about life. From golf I have learned humility and patience, as well as perseverance and focus. Through the years, golf has been good to me, from working at US Opens, working as a rules official with the West Penn Golf Association, playing in hundreds of amateur tournaments, volunteering at national tournaments, getting to know people like Arnold Palmer and Lee Trevino and Hank Haney, and even Byron Nelson, and meeting and playing with so many new friends.  I always told my players that golf and good manners will get you into places that money never will, and they came to learn just how true those words are. I am happy that I could give something back to golf through coaching at NA and serving on the WPIAL.
I loved teaching for 37 years, and I also loved coaching for 33 years.  

I never knew I would become a coach.  The late Vera Brandt, who taught physical education at NASH, was the person behind the girls golf program at NA.  She started the team in 1976, and when she retired in 1977, she named me as her successor.    In those days, just finding 5 girls to play on the golf team was a full-time job.  One year, I recruited 17 girls, and then girls’ soccer and field hockey were offered as letter sports, and I was right back to the original 5.  When the boys’ coaching job became available, I wanted to apply, but I felt that I would have no chance to be chosen.  My late husband, Scott Rittman, was the one who encouraged me to apply for the Boys coaching position.  I can remember Scott saying, “In that school district, who plays in more tournaments than you do?”  Who serves on the WPIAL?  Who runs more club tournaments than you do?  Who studies the USGA RULES?  17 applicants vied for that position, and I was chosen- and that was in the early 80’s!  It was a shock that NA was so forward-thinking, and for a total of 33 years I enjoyed being “Coach Rittman” as well as serving for 37  years on the WPIAL.   

I must give credit to Scott for much of my success. Golf season hours are long, and I had many 80+ hour weeks with teaching and coaching. Scott never minded all the hours I put in with the kids, and Scott was, in fact, a great supporter of NA golf.  Near the end of his life when he could hardly walk because the cancer had metastasized to his back, we drove to Nemacolin to see John McCabe and Kevin O’Brien in their practice rounds for an upcoming tournament.  It was the last fun trip he had before the pain was too great to get out of bed.  Scott would be so thrilled to see me receive this great honor, which I share with him, because I could not have done without his constant support.

Coaching, just like teaching, is all about relationships. At my retirement party, I spoke about the great fulfillment I received from serving students outside the classroom.  Whether directing the musical and the talent show or coaching golf, getting to know students outside the classroom as people, creating and sharing common goals, working together as a team, encouraging players to be their best and to work hard, and creating bonds of mutual respect have all been great joys to me.  Just being with the team was so wonderful. I would be exhausted after teaching all day, and as soon as I saw the team, my energy would return! You know, I even liked writing all those college letters of recommendation helping the boys to find the best school and program. I really enjoyed teaching, but Coaching will always be my favorite job.

My sincere thanks to the NA Hall of Fame Committee, especially Bob Bozzuto, who is one of the finest men I have ever known. And I am delighted that Pat Niven, the current Varsity Head Boys’ Golf coach, my former JV coach, is here tonight, along with my brother George, my sister in law Joan, and my former colleagues and friends.  

I close with a quote from Lou Holtz that summarizes why I coached “Coaching is about helping young people have a chance to succeed.  There is no more awesome responsibility than that. One of the greatest honors a person can have is being called COACH. “

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. 

Rittman Publishing, LLC ®



Please invite Grady Gets Glasses (and me) into your school.  if you are not in the Pittsburgh area, we do virtual field trips with a group called Field Trip Zoom. www.Fieldtripzoom.com  GRADY GETS GLASSES was the winner of Best New Children's Book 2016 from The Authors' Zone. For more information about The Authors' Zone, please visit http://www.theauthorszone.com/submissions/  


Visit Dede's webpage for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required readingSigned copies are available  www.dederittman.com Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics. 

I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books.  Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self.  However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired! 

Elementary teachers in Western Pennsylvania and beyond - I am willing to come into your classroom in person or as a virtual field trip through a group called Field Trip Zoom.  Check them out!  http://www.fieldtripzoom.com/ 

Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book.  I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies available for purchase in your classrooms following the reading.  Please email me at dederittman@gmail.com  The website www.gradygetsglasses.com now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!

Please like Dede's new page Grady Gets Glasses for updates about her children's book. https://www.facebook.com/gradygetsglasses?ref=hl 

Connect with Dede!

Twitter       @dederittman
Periscope   @dederittman
Facebook   Dede Faltot Rittman or Rittman Rules
LinkedIn   Dede Rittman
Google +   Dede Rittman
Tumblr      The Bunny Teacher
Instagram   dede_rittman 
Pinterest   Rittman Publishing, LLC ® 


Sunday, October 1, 2017

"Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration, and resentment." Dale Carnegie



I am going to be 65 in November. (I don't know how I got to 65 so quickly, when it seems like just yesterday that I turned 21.)  Besides being a major milestone, turning 65 means delving into the world of Medicare.  I simply do not understand insurance, nor do I want to understand insurance.  I just want it to work and be there when I need it, and I have needed it many times in the past few years.

I have a college education and excellent reading comprehension, yet I am stymied by the vocabulary and the offerings/non offerings of the various insurance programs. As a Pennsylvania retired teacher, I do have some excellent choices, if only I could understand them!   And I do have some mounting health challenges that will dictate the plan I choose.  Perhaps the most important advice I received from a former student who is now an insurance broker was this:  All the plans are essentially the same- you just have to decide what you want to pay. But how to decide?  And there are some differences- but you need to create a chart to compare them. And then there is this thing called the donut hole.  (I don't even eat donuts!)  It seems to me that if you are a person who is not in perfect health, Medicare punishes you more with their prescription/lack of prescription coverage and this giant donut hole.  Suddenly, I feel like I am back in tenth grade Chemistry class, in an auditorium filled with 100 students for the lecture, watching Doc Holliday, the teacher, try to shout formulas to us while writing of a transparency on an overhead projector. Our new high school was being built, so lack of space forced Chemistry class lectures to the auditorium.  I could neither see his notes nor hear his words; and my frustration with those terrible conditions for learning, along my lack of any idea about science (I have a right brain) forced me to drop the class.  

As teachers, we try to teach our students using methods to help learning to be both easy and fun.  We want our students to grasp concepts, ask questions, compare and contrast ideas, and to be able to explain what they have learned.  After months of looking at Medicare and speaking by phone to endless talking heads who spout information that does not answer my questions, I still have not made a decision about the correct plan for me. I am exhausted from looking at these forms day after day, I am frustrated by not being able to get the information I need, and I resent that after all these years of working, I am thrown out of what is normal for me into this world of Medicare. 

I have an accountant do my income tax every year, because our tax code is just too overwhelming for a lay person to know and apply.  The government has made taxes so difficult!  (Personally, I can understand, and I like the flat tax.  Fewer rules and numbers.)  But just as income tax is so perplexing, I find all of this insurance and donut hole and out-of-pocket-maximums as confusing as I find Boyle's law of Physics and Euclidean Geometry.
All of this anxiety about Medicare makes me think of the students who are panicking about learning what schools and teachers set forth.  Not everyone learns in the same way, and what is simple for a left-brained child is like studying hebrew or Greek for the right-brained child.  I will get through this and make the best decision I can with the information I have, but I will tell you that I have lost sleep over trying to learn and understand the many facets of insurance plans and their offerings.  As a classroom teacher for 37 years, I hope I never made any student feel the anxiety that I am feeling now.  

Teachers, be kind!  Don't allow your students to have anxiety about learning!

United States Government, you need to improve your presentation skills! Have a teacher help to design your websites and FAQ pages so that they are comprehensive, sequential, and easy to understand!  Otherwise, we are all in my tenth grade chemistry class.

I will make a decision by October 6, and throw all of this behind me.  Onward to more enjoyable learning.


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, September 23, 2017

Mission Statement: The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International promotes professional and personal growth of women educators and excellence in education."




Although I do not usually write for a specific group, today I am doing just that.  Women educators- this post is for you! I want to tell you about a group that inspires me to be my best! 

I belong to a group called Delta Kappa Gamma, which I joined only after retiring from Education.  I should have joined much sooner!  The mission of DKG reads: "The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International promotes professional and personal growth of women educators and excellence in education."   The international website is http://www.dkg.org/ 

DKG does service projects and helps all members to continue to be lifelong learners. We have informative and interesting programs at our meetings, and the "themed" approach of the year makes every meeting something special.  I enjoy participating in many of our causes, like the "Jarred Boxes", which are shoe boxes filled with fun activities for seriously ill children in hospitals.  We are currently working on collecting gently used professional clothing for a program called "Dress for Success", which helps women to re-enter the workforce. We had much success with both of those projects last year, so our group is continuing these service projects, plus others.

DKG recognizes excellence in its members.  I have been both humbled and honored, as I have received the Album of Distinction Award twice, in 2015 and 2017.  I published a book related to education both of those years, and nominees must complete forms about how their work fulfills the purposes of DKG.  

Women teachers, I urge you to look at the DKG website and find a chapter near you!  Grants are issued, and DkG even helps members who suffer catastrophic events.  I am proud to call the ladies in my group my "DKG sisters",  and I find membership to be extremely rewarding. The passion for education and excellence I find in DKG makes me want to be an even better teacher, as I continue my work through my books.  I hope you will take a look at this terrific organization - AND JOIN! 

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. 

Rittman Publishing, LLC ®

Dede receiving the DKG Album of Distinction award in 2015 at the state convention in State College, PA

Dede receiving the DKG Album of Distinction award in 2017 at the state convention in State College, PA



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, September 16, 2017

"If you want your children to improve, let them overhear the nice things you say about them to others." Dr. Haim Ginott


These past few weeks, social media sites Facebook and Twitter have been filled with pictures of children and grandchildren going back to school.  The kids are sporting new clothes and back-to-school haircuts, and from both the pictures and the written text, it is apparent that hopes are high for great success in the new school year.  I enjoy seeing these pictures, and I always loved the first few days of the excitement in my school building when the new year began.  The possibilities for happiness and learning and friendships and new adventures in the new year are endless!

Parents and grandparents can help to keep children and teens engaged in the learning process and school activities.  Instead of asking a simple "How was your day today?", with the stock answer "Fine." ask more engaging questions.  For example, "What happened at school today that was exciting?" or "Can you share something you learned today that your family would find interesting?"  When I was a classroom teacher, pondering a question aloud asking a student to explain something to me inspired almost every hand in the room to shoot up!  And as I look back on the year when I got my first iPhone and had no idea of how to use it, students worked with me to match their study hall schedules to my schedule so they could "tutor" me on the iPhone 3.  I was grateful for their expertise!  I remember telling students (who were checking on my progress) - "Yes, I DID finally learn how to set up email!  thank you for offering- Mary in period 2 met me during lunch," or "I finally have working voice mail!  Danny in period 6 knew how to set that up!"  I enjoyed saying nice things about the many students who offered their help, and I as a result of my voicing those kind words, I found that student work improved in my classroom, especially from my iPhone tutors and their friends.

Everyone has something to offer, and everyone needs to feel important.  When parents and grandparents truly engage their children with thought-provoking questions and then share kind words about their answers, learning and more sharing of knowledge is encouraged.

Let's keep students as bright as the shiny new pennies they appear to be on the Facebook pages in the first day of school pictures.  Appropriate praise and family interaction can help to keep a positive focus on student engagement at school, as well as the sharing of learning at home.

Here's to a GREAT year, filled with endless possibilities for success!

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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