Friday, April 7, 2017

"The most rewarding things you do in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done." Arnold Palmer

This week is The Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia. I was lucky enough to attend Saturday at The Masters 2 years ago.  Magnolia Drive and the course were green and magical and everything I wanted them to be, except for one thing.  I didn't see Arnold Palmer, my personal hero, that Saturday. He hit the ceremonial first ball on Thursday, but was not on the grounds on Saturday.

This 81st competition at Augusta is the first Masters since Arnie died in September of 2016. He appeared in this event for 50 consecutive years, and never lost his popularity.  Just as he was conspicuous by his absence at Bay Hill, the gallery, players, and commentators are also feeling his absence at Augusta.  A man like Arnold Palmer just doesn't come along every day, and that is why we should learn from him - through his life and his death, and his continuing impact on the game, the players, and the fans.

In the late 50's and through the 60's, Arnold Palmer was a movie star masquerading as a golf pro, all while trying to be a normal person. He never took himself so seriously that he acted better than anyone else.  A blue collar guy who made it big, Arnie never forgot his small town roots of Latrobe, PA.  He had the magical way of looking at each person, making small talk, gladly signing autographs, and making every fan feel like he was the only fan in the King's presence.  Arnold Palmer was charming, down to earth, engaging, fearless, and most importantly - everyone felt like he was their friend.

I think Arnold Palmer would have been a wonderful teacher.

He clearly understood what is entailed in being a positive role model.  His exuberance and self-confidence bubbled; his swagger and effervescence made people believe in him, and his "I can do it, so can you" attitude was contagious.  In fact, that "can-do" attitude is why the game of golf grew exponentially!  As Arnie's fame and success grew, so did the number of golfers in the field. Suddenly, golf was not just a rich man's game, because Arnold Palmer made it that way.

Teachers, take note! Learn from Arnold Palmer! Study the larger than life successful people in this world and the qualities that make them so successful.  Model those positive qualities for your students.  Show the students YOUR positive attitude, and let them know that YOU believe in THEM as people. No matter what the climate is in your school building, optimistic attitudes and solid relationships will always make a positive impact on students. Go the extra distance to inspire your students, because you CAN!  Remember what Mr. Palmer said:  "The most rewarding things you do in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done."  

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

April 11, 2015, Augusta National 

You can find many strategies for teaching in Dede's book. 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 or on Amazon at 

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! 

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  

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! 

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  The website now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!

Please like Dede's new page Grady Gets Glasses for updates about her children's book. 

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