Monday, February 29, 2016

"If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our students of tomorrow." John Dewey

True or False? "Once a teacher, always a teacher." 

True for me!  I loved teaching 10th grade English and Theater for 37 years, and now I love my new experiences teaching!

True or False? "You can't teach an old dog new tricks."  

False for this "old dog!"  I learn something new every day, especially in the world of technology!  Please allow me to explain.

First, I had such a fabulous day on Wednesday that I HAVE to write about it!  I joined a group called Field Trip Zoom ( that offers "virtual" field trips to classrooms around the world for a nominal fee.  Famous museums, authors, botanical garden, zoos, aquariums, historical societies, and scads of others provide "virtual" field trip experiences, coming into classes from a computer via a smart board. I presented my first virtual field trip to student teachers at Mansfield University,and I was so pleased.  My second presentation was on Wednesday, to a very enthusiastic kindergarten class, from my house in Pittsburgh, PA, to Massachusetts! They LOVED GRADY GETS GLASSES, and their collective roar of laughter and delight when I placed the yellow rabbit ears on my head before reading the book made me laugh at myself! Teaching kindergarten is so different from teaching 10th grade!   For my kindergarten audience, I created a PowerPoint of my book so that every learner could see the pictures and be engaged. 

Teaching and learning have both changed dramatically because of technology. Although technology cannot substitute for solid teaching, I like the enhancement that technology can bring to learning. Best example: virtual field trips can give students experiences that they would never have in person, broadening their collective horizons and understanding of the world. I feel humbled that the students asked me about being an "author"; a title that is not yet as comfortable as "teacher." I like the feeling that by presenting my book and message in person and "virtually", I am still teaching (as an author)!

As great as my morning was with the kindergarten class, in the afternoon I drove 50 miles to Seton Hill University to speak to the student teachers under the direction of Dr.Richard King. (My book STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER, is required reading at Seton Hill.) I was excited to connect with each member of the class individually, and the students were terrific!  They were both interested and interesting; I loved the earnestness and caring in their voices as they discussed their individual experiences.  We talked about the Three C's of Confidence, Communication, and Creativity, as well as using the "teacher voice", planning, "hooking" students to learn, and reading body language.  I enjoyed their collective and individual enthusiasm for teaching, which made my heart glow, because I want future teachers to have a passion for the profession, and these young people have that desire to be educators and make a difference. The students at Seton Hill University thoroughly impressed me. And by the way, yes, I used technology for my presentation! 

I am a great proponent of lifelong learning. When I began my teaching career in 1974, the idea of "technology in the classroom"  was a 16mm film projector and a mimeograph machine. No one in 1974 could have possibly imagined the offerings of IPhones, IPads, The Internet, and venues like Field Trip Zoom.  Technology in today's world is changing rapidly and growing exponentially, and I am thrilled to be a part of it. As Educators, we MUST stay current, or our students lose. I will never say that technology can replace excellent teaching, but technology is a part of the world to which our students belong. We need to learn about that world, and embrace it.

Wednesday was a GREAT DAY - from kindergarten to college in 8 hours - all because of technology. Teaching still ROCKS, and technology makes Education even more exciting!!

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. 

Rittman Publishing, LLC ®

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. 

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

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! 

Here is the link the my 15 second Grady Gets Glasses commercial!

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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Dr. Richard King and some of the great student teachers! 

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