Saturday, February 18, 2017

"Their goal wasn't to stand out because of their differences; it was to fit in because of their talent." Margot Lee Shetterly, "Hidden Figures"

I saw the film HIDDEN FIGURES last week, and the lessons in that film are so numerous that my mind is still spinning, filled with flashback images and lines from the movie.  I may even return to see it for a second time! 

I was living in Natrona Heights, PA, and I was just 9 years old in 1961, when the film opens. The racial divide was great, and it hurt my heart to see the manner in which white people treated others who were not white.  Pennsylvania did not have the signs that read "White Only" and "Colored."  I remember seeing such images on television on the national news,  and asking my mother about why all people were not treated equally.  Mom believed everyone was the same - she would say, "We all bleed red and we are all the same inside-. the outside doesn't matter."  I agreed then, and I agree now.  She never could come up with another answer, except to say that, "Some people don't think the way that we think.  I don't know why."  I agreed them, and I agree now.

HIDDEN FIGURES offers so many lessons about life! The film is about a strong work ethic and believing in oneself; and doing the best job possible under the worst of circumstances. This movie shows people doing extraordinary things, and standing up for their beliefs, helping to set the example for the next generation. The movie transcends race and time and gender, with positive and uplifting messages. (I MUST see it again!)  

I believe that this film should be shown in every high school.  Social Studies classes could examine and discuss the great racial divide portrayed in the movie all those years ago, and maybe that discussion would promote better understanding of events in today's world. Supporters of STEM could use the three lady mathematicians as examples of the importance of education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, and point to their contributions to put a man in space. Indeed, the film provides endless possibilities for discussions, research, and writing assignments in English class!  In fact, the kids will love this movie so much that they will suggest topics for discussion and writing that the teachers will never think about!

If you not yet seen the film, treat yourself and go to the movies. In the theater where I watched the film,  the audience applauded at the end!  That hasn't happened in a movie theater for me in years! 

Teachers- use this film! Always use a teachable moment or movie! Life lessons are at stake! 

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. 

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