Monday, January 25, 2016

There is no greater joy nor greater reward than to make a fundamental difference in someone's life. - Mary Rose McGeady

I think you will agree with me on the topic of today's post: it feels WONDERFUL to know you are making a difference in the life of another person.  I felt that way every day of my 37 years in the classroom. But now? Please permit me to explain. 

It seems that retirement is taking me places that I never thought I would see.  I confess, that I am really not retired from life, just from teaching in the public school.  And I also confess that unlike my retired colleagues, I work many hours every day at writing and speaking and social media and my new entrepreneurship.  The good news is this: I am back to teaching- certainly not full time- but back in a new kind of classroom.

Loyal readers know that I enjoy speaking to student teachers in universities and colleges, because my book for student teachers offers so much practical advice that colleges just don't have time to teach. I feel happy to be able to assist student teachers with some information that they need.  From the notes and comments I have received, I know that my work is making a difference.  I missed that part of teaching after 37 years.

Two weeks ago, I wrote a post about reconnecting with Dave Martin, a former student teacher in my school, back in 1988.  Dave is now the Director of Education at a charter school in Pittsburgh, and on Friday last, I was privileged to speak to his staff during a professional development day.  The staff is quite young, and I was excited to share my modified-for-them "Three C's for Classroom Success- Confidence, Communication, and Creativity" presentation with them, which also included anticipatory sets, closure, empathy, body language, organization, and lots of other "must know" info. From their body language, I believed that my message was making an impact. After the presentation and discussion, I was welcomed and thanked, and the teachers stayed afterward to shake hands in appreciation. To my surprise, two former North Allegheny students are on the faculty - one of my former 10th grade Academic English students, and another young man I knew at NA, but did not have in class. What a wonderful coincidence to see these two young men again, and to discover that they have become teachers!  (If you, too, are a teacher, you know that when a former student becomes a teacher, your heart is filled with joy, just hoping that you had a microscopic part in their decision to join the calling.)

I am thrilled to be living my dream, taking my expertise and book, and speaking to young teachers to help them to gain confidence and a better understanding of their importance in the classroom; their impact as role models; and their influence on young lives.  Colleges are so busy teaching subject matter and standards that sometimes other important learning goes by the wayside. I am thrilled to be one (of many) who makes a difference for young teachers and student teachers, as I am confident that difference will ripple to infinity.

Anyone can make a difference, not just teachers!! This message is for everyone!   Make a positive difference in someone's life today.  I promise you will feel great about it. . . I speak from experience.

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. 

Rittman Publishing, LLC ®

Contact Dede if you would like her speak to your faculty or student teachers. 

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 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! 

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 IS UP AND RUNNING!!!.  Signed copies ARE available!  Coloring books and Grady plush toys are ordered! 

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

Connect with Dede!

Twitter       @dederittman
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Dede is the co-host of The Total Education Q & A, which can be heard on Blogtalk Radio at 

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