Sunday, November 13, 2016

"The ballot is stronger than the bullet." Abraham Lincoln

America has just voted in the most decisive election in decades.Whether your candidate won or lost, the most important lessons from the election for America's students and children are about the election process, the peaceful passing of the torch and the power, and the willingness of all Americans to accept the results and work together for the good of the country.  Many parents took their children into the voting booth on that monumental election day - when people waited in lines blocks long, wrapped around buildings, for an hour or longer - all to exercise their right to vote. What a great example for parents to share with their children!  Being an American means participating in the democratic process.

Although both candidates ran ugly campaigns, the acceptance and concession speeches were classy, sincere, honest, and touching.  Both Mr. Trump and Secretary Clinton thanked their supporters, spoke about their love for the nation, and stressed the significance of healing the country and coming together as one nation, as one truly "united" America. 
President Obama also spoke about the smooth transition of power, and he, too, talked about the importance of the two parties working together for the good of the country.  The meeting between President Obama and President-Elect Trump generated goodwill and a smooth transition of power, and both set a conciliatory tone for the rest of the country to follow.

This election and its aftermath offer endless opportunities for classroom lessons- whether they be mini-lessons about an item of interest in the voting process, or a week long lesson about the electoral college. I think students would be interested to know that Secretary Clinton and her group wore purple for her concession speech, a symbolic color of unity, which is the result of mixing blue with red. Math teachers have a plethora of opportunities to hook students with numbers from the election, showing the importance of math, numbers, polls, and percentages in real life. The two-day fall and subsequent ongoing surge of the stock market offers a chance for history/government teachers to present the workings of the stock market- and the way world events influence the market and our lives. English teachers could have students examine some of the rhetoric and speeches, looking for the precise words that were spoken to convey an exact meaning. Theater teachers could have students examine body language and facial expressions of the candidates and their supporters, noting that body language sometimes shouts out what words are not saying. Every teacher of every subject can emphasize the importance of being involved in our American democracy; and the importance of being educated about our choices for leaders, as well as the importance of the privilege of voting in every election. 

Addendum: I wrote this post before all of the riots and violence of the protesters was occurring.  Discussing and examining their behavior provides the basis for another valuable lesson, since it appears that many of these adult protestors were the children that all received "participation" trophies. Experiencing disappointment, as in losing a T ball game, at a young age is an important life lesson. As for the college professors who are coddling the students who are "too upset" with the election to go to class or to take a test, I have no words.  I hope that people can learn that one group's vote is not more important than the other, and that they can realize that every time their is an election, one group is disappointed. Losing should not equal rioting and violence.  I hope our country can come together.

Indeed,  "The ballot is stronger than the bullet." Abraham Lincoln

Everyone can learn from the quote below from Franklin D. Roosevelt.  As teachers, it is our job to make the best and most educated citizens possible; citizens who understand the election process and learn acceptance and graciousness in victory and defeat. 

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

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  

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!

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