Friday, April 6, 2018

"Good teachers know how to bring out the best in students." Charles Kuralt

Teachers in Oklahoma walked out of the classroom this past week, and their low salaries were not the only reason.  They were protesting the conditions under which they are teaching- outdated and crumbling textbooks, broken student furniture, lack of supplies for students, and more.  If you have not seen any of these pictures, take a look at this article:

For years, these teachers have been trying to bring out the best in their students under terrible conditions.I feel sure that there were many discussions of how both teachers and students felt devalued and disrespected by the school board and those who provide funds for materials.  I can remember years ago when our TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD books were in terrible condition.  We had some back ordered, but I had to hand out the ones I had taped together, or in some cases, taped, and then circled with a rubber band.  The kids felt like they were not important enough to receive a "real" book, not one that had been put together by me.  To set the example of learning through hardship, I used the same paperback edition of MOCKINGBIRD for 35 years.  No binding was left; the entire book was loose leaf, bound by 2 rubber bands.  I could literally "take out chapter 12."  This book held all my notes, all my references, and all of the important highlighted parts to review.  I always told the kids that it is not the condition of the book that is important, but what is inside the book. My point is this:  no one likes to feel devalued and unimportant.  The students in the Oklahoma schools do not even have decent chairs to sit on, and their books are both outdated and falling apart. 

Can you imagine working in a business that has demanding expectations, and then given no resources with which to meet those expectations?  That is exactly what the Oklahoma teachers have been doing for years!

I applaud these teachers for standing up for themselves and their students!  It is time!  Educating our students today so they can become leaders of tomorrow is paramount.  

I hope the teachers get everything they deserve, and more - including the respect of the community. 

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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