Sunday, September 18, 2016

"I'm convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance." Steve Jobs

My blogpost entry for today is number 156.  Than means that for exactly 3 years, I have been putting fingers to keys and writing for an audience whom I am trying to entertain, enlighten, and inspire. I am proud that I have not missed a single week, and a friend recently asked me, "Why do you do this?  Why are you so committed to writing a post every week? You are not getting paid." True, I am not getting paid, so I have no monetary incentive.  I do hold myself accountable,  however, because I said that I would write one post per week, and I am a person who keeps my word. Writing a weekly column is not easy - inventing ideas and making them relevant to others, especially teachers, is my aim. Many weeks, I mentally meander through topics, until one hits me as "just right." Sometimes, when I am exhausted from being an entrepreneur and all the work that goes along with that title, I pause momentarily, to think about skipping the post, but I just can't! My parents instilled a strong work ethic in all of their children, and my readership is now at the level of several thousands per month, and I don't want to let anyone or any reader down- especially if a person is really in need of inspiration.  And so, I persevere. 

I think that perseverance is not as popular a term as it once was.  In our digital age of instant communication and instant gratification, the definition of the word itself is almost lost on young people. Kids can't define the term, and I think they need to learn more than the definition of the word perseverance.

Teachers, you need to include examples of success through both discipline and perseverance in your presentations, so students know that perseverance is a quality to be admired and emulated. When I was doing research for this piece, I found many websites dedicated to stories of famous individuals who failed multiple times before succeeding. My favorite is Walt Disney, and I cannot possibly imagine a world without Mickey Mouse, Snow White, Thumper, the many characters of Disney,  and Disney World! Can you?  Here is a site that talks about Walt Disney:   Colonel Sanders began his business at age 65!  He is another inspiration! 

As teachers, we must prepare our students for the real world, and the real world is very harsh.  Teaching not only the word and the definition of perseverance, but also teaching the real life examples of people who persevered may well serve as a springboard and a support for the futures of our students, helping them to get back up after failures- to try again. As teachers, we cannot know at the time whether our students are going to succeed or struggle with their work lives, and the best we can do is to provide them with the tools to help them to succeed and excel. I know that although I am 63, working as a new entrepreneur after 37 years as a classroom teacher is a challenge, and I continue to reflect on life lessons from terrific former teachers and respected adults in my life, as I make my way through business procedures and decisions for which I have no background experience.  I have hit many stumbling blocks in these past two years, and I sometimes wonder why I am doing this, when I could simply enjoy retirement!  Instead,  I surround myself with trusted individuals, pick myself up, and I persevere. My behavior is a reflection of what I was taught, and I feel strongly about sharing the lessons of discipline and perseverance! Perseverance may well be the difference between failure and success - per the quote from Steve Jobs, who was not an overnight success. but persevered to become successful!

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 readingSigned 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! 

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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