Saturday, June 10, 2017

"A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops." Henry Adams

One of my former colleagues passed away last week, and I went to the funeral home to pay my respects on Sunday evening.  Tragically, she died from a rare disease at the age of 61; what was uplifting to me at this sad occasion were the tributes from former students about how she lived.

She taught hearing impaired students in many of the schools in the district, from elementary to high school, and she made a difference to every student.  She pushed them to work to the best of their abilities, and she told them that they could and would be successful - no matter that they were hearing impaired. She looked for their ABILITIES, not their DISABILITIES.

Through the years, many of her students became my students, and some of those students and I had a reunion of sorts at the funeral home.  Her former students - now adults, and many in their 50's, told me that she was the force behind their life's success.   They talked about her kindness, her caring, and her love for her students. Her brother was overwhelmed to the point of tears to share with me that many students flew in from all over the country to pay their final respects to the woman who had changed their lives. Clearly, she was a gifted, devoted, and caring teacher.

Seeing former students, hearing what they had to say, and visiting with them for the first time in 30+ years made me reflect upon the Henry Adams quote "A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops."  This quote is so pure and  true; I have seen it in my own life and the lives of my students, and last week, I was privileged to witness the remarkable influence my colleague had on her students.

For my many readers who are teacher friends - what you say and do, the way you treat your students, and your expectations for your students will live on long after you are gone. Your kindness and caring will have a direct influence on your students - forever. If you don't believe me, just think of the story of this one extraordinary teacher.

God bless you, Cil Clemente. Your legacy lives on in each of your students.  You were a wonderful teacher and friend. 

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

Please invite Grady Gets Glasses (and me) into your school.  if you are not in the Pittsburgh area, we do virtual field trips with a group called Field Trip Zoom.  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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