Friday, December 29, 2017

"You are free to think thoughts of worry or joy . . . Joy attracts joy." Rhonda Byrne





Something about the coming of the new year is both wistful and hopeful.  After a particularly difficult year, many people cannot wait to turn then page on the new year.  For others, after a year of good fortune and positive happenings, they are reluctant to open the new chapter, fearing that the year to come will not match the previous year. All of that being said, this Life is a crapshoot, with twists and turns and hills and valleys and level flats.  The best we can do is set goals and try to make them happen.

I am setting a personal goal of finding more joy in my life next year.  After a terrible year in which my GRADY GETS GLASSES publisher filed for bankruptcy, stealing all of my money and now standing accused of committing fraud.  Naturally, meetings with lawyers and bankers and Attorneys General have not inspired me with happiness, so it has been a difficult year, to say the least.  I have continued to present and sell the books I bought before this happened, but a small gray cloud has seemed to follow me.

The new edition of GRADY GETS GLASSES will roll out in hardback, size 8x10, in late January or early February!  I am thrilled with the new book, the redesigned layout, the richness of color, thickness of paper, and the glossy finish. The new hardback is far superior to the paperback in every way. Additionally, the coloring book will be 8x10 in a bigger paperback, with saddle stitching at the side.  I am renewed with faith in my publisher, faith in myself, and faith in the GRADY GETS GLASSES message that is helping so many children to acclimate to their glasses.  When I see children clutching their Grady bunny toy friend and they tell me that they are so excited to have a friend who wears glasses, I am filled with joy!  When I speak to a group of student teachers about my STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER book, and they are grateful to have so many basics explained - important concepts that were not mentioned during college classes - I am filled with the joy of doing an important service for others, helping each person to be his or her best. After retiring from teaching, I missed that total joy of helping others, and I am filled with gratitude that my books allow me to continue my work of service in new areas.  Joy is a wonderful feeling, and I will continue to seek more and more joy through my work and personal life. 

Dear Readers, my wish for you is a year of purpose which brings you JOY.  Happy New Year!  Dede


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, December 24, 2017

"GIFT’s vision is to provide seniors with opportunities to make our community better, one GIFT at a time."




Dear Readers, 

You know that I enjoy finding stories and ideas that inspire me, and then passing those ideas to you, along with my personal viewpoint.  In this season of Christmas, I have found a GIFT that is quite inspiring.

On Sunday, December 17, I was both humbled and honored to be one of the female educator "RoleMODELS" in an event called "Empowering Beautiful Minds" who were honored by a charitable group in Pittsburgh called GIFT (Giving It Forward Together https://www.giftpgh.org/about-us ) I was nominated my friend Alice Beckett-Rumberger.  We served together on the North Allegheny Foundation for Excellence for several years, and her children were my students, which made this nomination especially sweet.  Each educator RoleModel chose an outfit to wear at the Thriftique, a shop of designer clothes owned by Goodwill, which helped to widen the scope of that Goodwill store, as many of us did not know they had such an exclusive store in Pittsburgh's Lawrenceville neighborhood. With great partners like UPMC Living at Home and Steel Tree, I am so impressed with this group and the good work they do, even though I have only been introduced the group for only a few short weeks.  Founder Rochel Tombosky has a varied background - from teacher to make-up artist to businesswoman - and she has set out to achieve a mission to empower seniors, focusing on what they CAN do, rather than what they can't do.  The group's mission includes all seniors, regardless of race or religion.  Rochel is the head of the charity, and she is all about learning, volunteering, and giving back to the community.

In this season of giving and celebrating, I am so happy to find a great example of the difference the GIFT charity group has made by doing for others.  Please take a moment to peruse their  website and look at all the good works and community involvement. 

Thank you, Rochel, for your hard work! I am so pleased that we connected! I admire your mission statement,  "GIFT’s vision is to provide seniors with opportunities to make our community better, one GIFT at a time."

Indeed, you and your vision are a true GIFT to so many.  Best wishes for your continuing success! 


I modeled a gorgeous black sparkly sweater, slacks, and this teal faux fur coat for the show. Each RoleMODEL was on a panel, answering questions about personal inspiration.  The program was so uplifting! A great fundraiser for GIFT! 

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, December 16, 2017

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


When I was a little girl, I remember my mother always saying "Christmas is for children." My mother has been gone for 15 years, but if she were here, I would tell her that I do not agree.  In some ways, I think adults need to feel and be a part of the Christmas spirit even more than children. In this hubbub of a world we live in, with pressure-cookers of work, family, aging parents, finances, social media, and politics, seeing and feeling reminders of the Christmas spirit warms the soul. 

Yesterday, I saw a woman walk up to speak to the Salvation Army Santa and place some money in the red kettle.  Although I could not hear their words, their body language showed me that they had some pleasant moments in conversation, as both were smiling broadly. Just watching their exchange made me think of all the people who are helped by the Salvation Army; and this past year, with all the hurricanes, I am sure their coffers are depleted.  Last week, I saw a small girl who was being so shy with Santa Claus, as she looked at him from behind her mother's knees.  Oh, the innocence of children and the beautiful myth and magic of Santa Claus!  Seeing the little girl evoked the memory of how my older brother and I worked so diligently to keep our much younger brother believing in Santa Claus for as long as we possible could!  We adored him so much that we did not want him to be crushed when he discovered the truth.  I became misty-eyed when I heard a story on the news about two donors who paid the school cafeteria receipts in a district where many parents could not afford the money for their child's breakfast and lunch.  (Learning cannot happen on an empty stomach.)  Last night, Steve Hartman of CBS told a story about a man who is playing Santa for Hurricane Harvey victims in Beaumont, TX, a city that was completely ravages by Harvey. One man's Christmas spirit and  cash donations to those who have nothing left is completely uplifting!  The recipients of the money were accepted  with great joy, because the money helped them to afford gifts for those they love! If you haven't seen the story, take a minute to view this link:  https://www.cbsnews.com/news/secret-santa-spreads-holiday-cheer-to-those-affected-by-hurricane-harvey/

Christmas doesn't have to be in December. Christmas is a feeling that occurs when human beings are kind to each other.  I love this time of year, when caring for each other seems to occur with more abundance, and people are not afraid to show good will toward strangers. Renewal of the spirit of goodness is a wonderful thing, and not just for children! I wish you a season of kindness and joy, and filled with love. 

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. 

Rittman Publishing, LLC ®


Christmas, 1960.  George is 10, I am 8, and Brian is 2 1/2



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, December 9, 2017

"We don't remember days, we remember moments." Cesare Pavese


The advent of Christmas has a way of stopping a busy person in order to relive a memory.  With all of the Christmas songs playing on the radio, decorating, shopping, and baking, I know this to be true- as it has happened to me numerous times these past few weeks. 

The moment I hear the opening of Bing Crosby singing "White Christmas" or "I'll Be Home for Christmas", I am a little girl again, asking my dad why he gets so sad when that song is playing.  Daddy served 5 straight years in the African shores during World War II, and he was away from his family for 5 consecutive Christmases.  I remember his sincere and emotional telling of what it was like to be in the desert during the war, and to have temperatures plummet from 100 degrees in the daytime to below freezing in the night.  When I was old enough to understand, he talked about the great loneliness of being a soldier away from home for such a long period of time, and he would hug me a little tighter when he talked about how grateful he was to have a wonderful wife and 3 children to dispel those old memories and to make new ones (although the sad ones could never be erased completely.)

I was going through a box of ornaments I have not looked in since my husband died in 2012.  Scott and I were very big on Christmas; we bought and decorated a fresh cut Christmas tree 12-14 feet high (in our living room), and wrapped the beams of that room with live white pine and red bows, with crocheted snowflakes hanging from the beams.  Outside decorations were just as elaborate, and it was exhausting!  The first year we moved to our new (but old-1936) house, the tree was so tall and so big, and we did not have enough ornaments.  I had a stash of scores of little stuffed animals (gifts from students), so they were all corralled and placed on hooks to add on the tree with  the Christmas bulbs and the 1200 lights. As I looked through that giant tub of ornaments, I remembered so many former students, and I thought about special moments that Scott and I enjoyed with friends and family when decorating our giant trees through the years.  One year, a friend - who was a plasterer - brought his stilts to wear while decorating! Sometimes we had 10 or more friends decorating for the evening, as putting up such a giant tree was a very big job. The laughter and camaraderie still echo in my heart, although I will never see such wonderful days again.

Inside another box, I found a Christmas tree - a tiny one, with white lights, just 16 inches tall and fully decorated, which was given to me by a friend in 1980, when I was getting divorced from my first husband.  Sue knew that I would not be having a tree, or any other decorations, that year, as my life was in turmoil. It was to be a sad Christmas,  and she just could not tolerate the idea of no Christmas tree in my life.  That sweet friend died from Lou Gehrig's Disease in 2003, after we had been friends and colleagues for almost 30 years. We shared so many discussions about school and teaching, marriage and divorce throughout those years, and I remember so many moments in which I was on the receiving end of her kindness. 

All of these memories were made through very personal connections, through connecting with others real conversations, with solid eye contact and careful listening skills. 
I don't remember the years, or the days of the week that so many of these events happened, but the memories are etched in my mind.  I recall so many childhood moments with my parents and my brothers, and when we were with our parents, they gave us their full attention.  Of course, there were no cell phones and electronic devices then, so bonding was certainly easier than it is in today's connected world.  Upon reflecting on so many memories, may I make a suggestion?  How about disconnecting from devices this Christmas season in order to truly connect with family members?  Give your children, spouse, parents, siblings, and friends the attention they desire.What a great gift -  to share feelings, to have someone listen and care, and to be understood.  Those moments of personal time shared are the ones that will be remembered. 

Wishing you a blessed holiday season - with new and better personal connections!   


As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. 

Rittman Publishing, LLC ®


Christmas at our house, 1991

Buying a GIANT  tree, 1994- Scott is on the far right 
1955- George, Daddy, me. George is 5, Dad is 35, and I just turned 3



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, December 2, 2017

"Self-worth comes from one thing - thinking that you are worthy." Wayne Dyer




Teachers know all about giving second chances to kids . . .and then giving third and fourth chances, and more.  Educators want to help students to perform the very best they can, so that they will believe in themselves.  Often in life, however, those extra chances don't exist.  "You're late - you're fired."  "Failed to reach objective- employment terminated."  I found a story that is so inspirational that I must share it with you, and it is all about extra chances in life, and the impact those chances have on people's lives.

A homeless shelter in Dallas, Texas, has a homeless choir.  The choir started as a pickup singing group at a day shelter for the homeless, and it grew from there. Participants are not permitted to sing if they are under the influence; instead, they are asked to come back next week. Their director, Jonathan Polant, is more than a choir director to them; he is a friend and perhaps, their most stable influencer. 

After over 2 years of rehearsing, the director felt that the group deserved a bigger stage, and he made the necessary arrangements for them to appear at Carnegie hall in New York City. Under Jonathan's tutelage, the group procured appropriate clothing,  flight accommodations, and hotel reservations, and they were off to NYC!  For many choir members, this trip was the first experience on a plane, or the first trip outside of Texas. Indeed, appearing at Carnegie hall was the biggest event of their lives.

When asked if the choir was "that good" to appear at Carnegie Hall, Jonathan answered that it was not a question of "good", rather that they were "that worthy" to appear.  What a wonderful answer. Jonathan knows that self-worth can be more powerful than being homeless. 

Every person must feel that he or she is "worthy" in the eyes of another, and for some, what others see becomes a yardstick for the manner in which one measures himself. Just as teachers give lots of chances for kids to do better and to believe in themselves, Jonathan has helped his group to rise above being homeless and become a part of something greater than themselves.  He has created a personal relationship with his homeless friends, and given them a place where they feel secure and valued, helping each of them to see and understand their own self-worth.

What an inspirational story this is!  I appreciate the lessons offered by this special man who is the choir director, and I am uplifted by his approach of giving chances and recognizing the worthiness of others, no matter their current station in life. A great addendum to this story -  one of the choir members received a recording contract and one is in transitional housing.  Who can speculate how the choir experience at Carnegie hall will lift the others?

Here is the link to the story- well worth the few minutes to watch! 

https://www.today.com/video/choir-of-homeless-people-rocks-carnegie-hall-1105055299793 

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 ® 


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

"Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings." William Arthur Ward





I think Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday.  No gifts to buy, no major decorating required, just preparation of wonderful good food with lots of family and friends.  Most of all, I like the idea of setting aside a special holiday to celebrate being thankful.  But then, I am all about gratitude.

If you listen to people around you, you will hear plenty of complaining.  People complain about traffic and work, relationships and money, time and anything else they can think of.  I find listening to complaints really drags me down. Although I am not a Pollyanna, I try to look on the bright side. 

To be honest, on this Thanksgiving, I am quite sad.  One of my best friends died last week, and the two of us have been going out together for Thanksgiving dinner for years, since my husband died.  I am grieving, but I am thankful for the years we had together, and thankful to be driving to Mercer to be with my brother and his family, where I am always welcomed. I miss my late husband terribly, along with the two 25 pound turkeys we used to make for a throng of family and friends every year.  Although I am sad, I am grateful that we had such a loving relationship and welcoming home that we made so many people feel included and loved for 30 years.  

This Thanksgiving, may I suggest that you look around you and focus on all that is good in your life?  Be thankful for the small things that really aren't so small: a roof over your head, food on the table, people who love you, a warm bed to sleep in each night, a job to make money and provide service for others.  Those essentials are denied to many people who live in this world.  When you look at the world through grateful eyes, you will see your blessings multiplied.

Happy Thanksgiving!  Please share your thankful thoughts with others around you, and make 2017 Thanksgiving a day of spoken and shared blessings.  .  


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
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Sunday, November 19, 2017

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



Perhaps you have noticed that obituaries always include the final paragraph that reads "Mr.___ was preceded in death by . . ."  followed by the sentence that says "Survivors include  . . . "  

A really good friend of 40 years, my golf buddy, and former colleague died on November 12.  Campbell Witherspoon, Jr. was a gentle soul who loved life, people, conversation, and most of all, education.  Through the many years he worked at various districts, Cam was a coach, teacher, headmaster, department head, assistant principal, principal, curriculum coordinator, gifted and talented coordinator. He was also a mentor to scores of new teachers and a caring adult and great role model to thousands of students. 

Sadly, in his obituary, the teachers and former students are not listed as his survivors, because they are not his kin. But when I reflect upon his life as an educator (we were colleagues for 25 of those years), indeed, he was a different kind of relative.  Cam was like a brother to some, a father to others, and near the end of his career, a wise grandfather to many.  He taught all the things he learned that somehow don't seem as important in today's date-driven school atmosphere of teaching to the test.  He taught manners and caring; empathy and responsibility; perseverance and self-discipline.Cam encouraged his students and set high expectations for them.  His nurturing personality turned around many students who needed a caring teacher in their lives. Cam's modeled gentlemanly and appropriate behaviors for students every day of his life. Because Cam was born during the Great Depression,  he had great appreciation for all that he had, and he expressed his appreciation freely, forcing others to reconsider gratitude over entitlement.  His cheerful demeanor and gentleness, along with his love for people and conversation, made him a friend to so many, and a favorite teacher to many more. We were great friends, and through the years, Cam and I and my late husband had hundreds of meals together and played countless rounds of golf together.  Cam and I ate out for Thanksgiving dinner together for the past 5 years since Scott died.  I will miss him terribly this Thanksgiving Thursday.

Campbell Witherspoon, Jr. leaves thousands of survivors behind, former students, colleagues, and friends, and each person if richer by far for knowing him.  His influence will continue through eternity.  God speed, Cam. 

To read more about Cam's accomplishments and life, here is the link to his obituary:
http://obits.dignitymemorial.com/dignity-memorial/obituary.aspx?n=Campbell-Witherspoon&lc=7414&pid=187248922&mid=7640143 

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. 

Rittman Publishing, LLC ®


Dede and Cam - Christmas party, 1990, enjoying a laugh

Cam and Dede, Thanksgiving, 2015


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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