I saw the Mister Rogers movie today, "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood," and I will be returning to the movie theater to see it again.
This post is my love letter to Fred Rogers for all the good things he brought to the world, just by being himself.
I won't write a synopsis of the film - but I will tell you that I witnessed the impact the film has on each person who sees it. I went to a 3:45 pm show, and no one got out of their seats until all the credits were finished rolling. I overheard people talking about the many messages of the film.
There is just something about the goodness, the tenderness, the compassion, and the loving attitude that Mister Rogers showed to every person he met that punches us - right in the heart.
How could a person be that good, all the time? Well, to be honest, he was an ordained Presbyterian minister, although he never really preached, the way most preachers do. He led by example. I had to laugh at the part in the film when the journalist asked Fred about his persona on set vs. his persona off set. He had not yet learned that Fred Rogers was the same, no matter where he was and whom he was with. The journalist also had to learn that Daniel Striped Tiger and King Friday the 13th were also Fred!
Everyone who sees the film should walk out with a sense of wonder and appreciation and tolerance for family, friends, and even people they don't know, because Mister Rogers message is clear and strong that "There's no person in the whole world like you, and I like you just the way you are." His message of forgiveness is one to carry in one's heart. His compassion for humankind is shown in every interaction he has with a person. His love for children and helping them to cope with the realities of life are brilliant and not a bit condescending. Mister Rogers taught the world about inclusion at its finest.
Our world today could use some hourly doses of the kindness of Mister Rogers. Maybe if enough people see this movie, the world will become a kinder and more tolerant and compassionate place.
By the way, if you want to read the piece in Esquire magazine that inspired this film, here is the link: https://www.esquire.com/entertainment/tv/a27134/can-you-say-hero-esq1198/
Wishing you a blessed Thanksgiving! I hope you have a chance to see the film!
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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 and a company called www.StreamableLearning.com GRADY GETS GLASSES was the winner of Best New Children's Book 2016 and 2018 (new edition) from The Authors' Zone.Grady also won a 2018 prestigious Moonbeam Award for Best Children's Book with Merchandise.
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 reading. Signed 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 firstname.lastname@example.org The website www.gradygetsglasses.com now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!
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