Sunday, November 6, 2016

"The best thing about being a teacher is that it matters. The hardest thing about being a teacher is that it matters every day." Todd Whitaker

I have been back in the classroom again- from K to college, presenting about both of my books, STUDENT TEACHING; THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER and GRADY GETS GLASSES.

I continue to be amazed by all of the planning and juggling that every single teacher and administrator has to do to make the school day work!  Most schools "live and die by the bell."  That stringent time period between the bells is when ALL must get done!  I was at Peebles Elementary School on November 4, and because of a schedule adjustment, I would only have 25 minutes to present my introductory PowerPoint about being an author/all about glasses and vision before reading GRADY GETS GLASSES aloud, also on a PowerPoint.  I usually need 30-35 minutes, as I am a teacher who likes all learners to be engaged, and I like to promote discussions.  For a few moments, I panicked!  But the 37 years in classroom kicked in- and I monitored and adjusted! By using signaling instead of discussions, students were engaged, and every group received the entire presentation.  

People who have never been classroom teachers cannot fully appreciate the true definition of "multitasking."  One or more (and usually more!) students is always in need of attention; teachers can speak to a student while writing a note for another while typing an email. Teachers can collect forms and money while teaching math to he group while telling the students who just came in late the page number and what they missed, as well as asking them for their forms and money. Wow, that was a long and exhausting sentence- just as it was meant to be!  Teacher days are just like that sentence- one task running into the next and the next - and making decision after decision, keeping the students' best interests in mind,  and the day is filled with constant activity, making 8 hours seem like 20 minutes. Years ago,  I took a class in Staff Development, and this question was posed to the group of teachers:  "How many decisions does the average teacher make per day?"  Take a minute to think about it; this questions means ALL decisions, even the YES or NO required for "May I go to the bathroom?"  I took a wild guess - and guessed a big number, but it turns out I was not even close. My guess was 300.  The answer was . . . 1500!  PER DAY! Teachers=decision makers.   

Many people criticize teachers; in fact, I have often had this remark said to me: "Teachers only work 9 months a year, and it's not like they are working hard." These kinds of comments make my blood boil. First, I want to point out that I don't know any teachers who do not work through the summers to make their classes better for the next year.  Second, teachers have to all things to all students: teacher, money collector, parent, nurse, psychologist, referee, mentor, disciplinarian, advisor, confidante, and more. Teaching is not only a calling, it is a wonderful and exhausting profession, and one that requires all of one's attention and energy every minute, every class, every day, for every student. 

I applaud all of the teachers who are making a difference every single day, and those who have the extraordinary ability to multitask and to wear so many hats.  YOU ROCK!! 

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!

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

Connect with Dede!

Twitter       @dederittman
Periscope   @dederittman
Facebook   Dede Faltot Rittman or Rittman Rules
LinkedIn   Dede Rittman
Google +   Dede Rittman
Tumblr      The Bunny Teacher
Instagram   dede_rittman 
Pinterest   Rittman Publishing, LLC ®

No comments:

Post a Comment