Saturday, June 3, 2017

"There is something you leave at every meeting with another person." Fred Rogers

Our world has become a very scary place, and watching the evening news is not for the faint of heart. When the terrorist attack happened in Manchester, England, a man named Anthony Breznican gained notoriety by tweeting the famous Mr. Rogers quote about looking for the helpers.  Turns out, Anthony had actually met Mr. Rogers in person, and Mr. Rogers was able to help him when he needed an ear to listen.  If you did not see the great CBS Steve Hartman piece, which includes an interview with Anthony Breznican about a personal encounter with Mr. Rogers, please take a look at it!  You will be glad you did.

Reading Anthony's tweets and seeing this news clip made me think back to many years ago. My (late) husband, Scott, and I had season tickets to the Pittsburgh Public Theater on the same night as Mr. and Mrs. Rogers.  We would always nod and say a few words in passing. One night, we saw a little girl dressed in a beautiful white lace dress with a pink sash in the lobby. She spotted Mr. Rogers and she zoomed over to him and exclaimed, "Mr. Rogers!  Look at my new dress!  Isn't it pretty?"  He answered very quietly and simply, "Yes, your dress is very pretty, but it is more important to be pretty on the inside."

All of this talk about and remembrance of Mr. Rogers has made me reflect again on how much difference one teacher can make for students.  Mr. Rogers influenced millions of children, teaching social skills and good manners, and modeling the roles of friend and neighbor.  He wore his teacher persona like he wore his sweater and tennis shoes; in a comfortable and non-threatening manner. Years later, as Anthony Breznican reminds us, those lessons from Mr. Rogers- on television or in person - still matter. Although they had only one chance encounter, Mr. Rogers left quite an impression on Anthony. 

Teachers, the behavior you model and the kind words you speak to your students will still matter years from now.  As the school year winds down, please remember kindness and caring, and in the words of Mr. Rogers:   "If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person."  Fred Rogers

Pittsburgh was so lucky to have Mr. Rogers.  So was the world.  #Agreatteacher 

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. 

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!

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  1. Hi I really appreciate your all efforts which is specially for the inspirational speaker.
    well done.


  2. Thank you so much. I loved teaching for 37 years, and for me, teaching and inspiration go together. Although my stats say lots of people read my posts, very few leave a message. Thank YOU for inspiring me to continue writing! Dede