Thursday, July 19, 2018

"I touch the future. I teach." Christa McAuliffe

I absolutely loved teaching English and Theater for 37 years, and I cried for weeks when I had to retire to care for my husband, who was dying from stage 4 colon cancer. I loved being with the kids, and I loved being with Scott, and in my heart, I knew I was losing the kids first, and that Scott would soon follow.  It was a very difficult time.

Sometimes in a crazy daydream, I am with all the kids from my entire career, at a giant party.  Of course, this would be impossible, since the total number of students in classes, study hall, cafeteria duty. coaching, and directing, would be over 15,000, and no venue holds that many people!  Still, it is a nice thought . . . to see all the kids who have become adults, to talk about high school, and to know what they are doing.

I saw a CBS "On the Road with Steve Hartman" this week that I want to share, and for a fortunate teacher from Oklahoma, seeing his former students was a dream that did come true.  Robert Moore, a retired music teacher, actually got a chance to see many of his former music students, and the student-planned meeting and concert was done as a major surprise for him!  Robert Moore directed the chorus at then same high school for 30 years, from 1966-1996. He appeared to enjoy his job as a teacher, and the students really seemed to like him. While watching this Steve Hartman story,  seeing the students who are now adults, hearing their reflections, and listening to them talk about their "tough" teacher who taught them discipline and lessons about life, I could not help myself.  I just had to cry. The influence of this chorus teacher resulted in students who became opera singers and educators, and they all said they were better people for knowing Mr. Moore and having him as their teacher. What a tremendous gift for this retired teacher! I had to share this beautiful story.

Teachers seldom receive feedback stating that they have made a difference in a student's life.  But with or without knowing, they simply go to work every day and try to do their best, while bringing out the best in the students.  Any small note or acknowledgment of "a job well done" is rare and appreciated by every teacher. 

Please watch this amazing story and elevate your day!

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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