Friday, May 11, 2018

"A strong, positive self-image is the best possible preparation for success in life." Dr. Joyce Brothers

In 1989, I co-directed a high school musical that included over 300 students on stage, in the orchestra, on committees, on stage crew, etc. It was a true labor of love, and I learned along with the students about all the intricacies of every minute part of a musical.  Although I had been on stage in many shows, and also handled costumes, make-up, etc. in LOTS of shows, having the responsibility for the entire show is nothing like having a part in a show.

When I signed the contract to direct, I was nervous and a bit apprehensive, but I was also excited about the challenge.  I must confess that the thought of failure never occurred to me, just as it never does. I don't think about the word "failure" unless others mention it, and I approach everything I do with an "I can do it" attitude. If you are wondering why, that attitude comes from my mother, who was my biggest fan.  She believed in me, so I believed in me.

After the musical was over and I had time to reflect on the experience, I realized just how monumental the task truly was.  I had been working over 80 hours per week for three months. Beside directing and doing the program, I was also Costumes Chair, and my other hats included gatekeeper, attendance, smoother-over-of-rough-spots, parent liaison, and more. I loved all of the jobs, but it was overwhelming to think about.

When my mother came to see the show, the kids were so mature and good-mannered, that she thought some of the kids were my colleagues!  

After the musical, I wrote my mother a card.  On the front of the card was a woman standing at the pinnacle of a mountain top, shouting "Behind every good woman . . ."  Open the card, and the remainder of the sentence reads "Is her MOTHER!!"  I realized that my mother was the driving force behind my being a risk taker, even if I were plunging into new waters, not knowing their depth. Her faith in me was so strong, that I learned to have faith in myself.  I can't think of a greater gift from a parent.

Thank you, Mom. Also, thank you for saving that card. I found it when I was cleaning out your dresser after you died, and what a gift to know that you had kept it through the years.

Thanks to all the mothers and stepmothers and foster mothers and aunts and big sisters who encourage their children,helping to make them become even more than they thought they could be.  You, the nurturers, make our world better.

Happy Mother's Day, Friends.    

And happy Mother's Day in Heaven to my beautiful mother, whom I miss every single day, especially on Mother's Day.  Because of you, I have enjoyed so many successes. 

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. 

Connect with Dede!

Twitter       @dederittman
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Facebook   Dede Faltot Rittman or Rittman Rules
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Instagram   dede_rittman  and Gradygetsglasses 
Pinterest   Rittman Publishing, LLC ® 

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