Saturday, December 29, 2018

This is a new year. A new beginning. And things will change." Taylor Swift

New Year's Eve is a great chance to begin again.  It is a time to reflect on the past, to assess one's mistakes and triumphs, to put the past in perspective, and to plan the methods to make the next year better.  Sounds easy, right?  But, it is not.

Too many people try to overhaul their entire lives in a matter of days, and because we are all creatures of habit, changing EVERYTHING does not and cannot work, so we fail.  I have a better idea.

I say to change just one thing about your life, and many other facets of your life will change.  I want to help you to get organized.  One's resolution cannot be simply to "get organized."  That category is too broad to conquer.  Please allow me to share a few strategies that will make your family life, professional life, and social life to "flow" better.  

First, you need a dry erase calendar hanging in your kitchen. Have a family meeting, and announce that everyone is responsible for posting their school events, sporting events, and other important events on the monthly calendar. Parents - this could include your out of town dates and social dates as well. Focal point - the kitchen, where everyone congregates and everyone is on the same page.  You might need to make some reminders for the kids, but this calendar is going to make everyone's life better and less stressed, because there will be no surprises.

Parents- I know you like your phone calendar, and the phone provides great reminders, but you actually need a calendar that is comprehensive and lets you see the "big picture" of what is going on in your professional life.  I suggest you buy or make a large desk calendar for the year. Write everything you need to do on this calendar.  I used this method for all 37 years I taught high school- where I also coached varsity golf, directed the musical and the talent shows, worked with student council, and served on several boards. (My average work week was 60-90 hours)  My calendar included faculty meetings, dates I had to monitor detention hall, department meetings, parent meetings, rehearsal times, auditions, guidance meetings, and everything else.  I could know my entire week at a glance, and plan for it accordingly.  My stress level was reduced because I had no surprises -  I knew my responsibilities.  I know this method can help you, too.

I have shared this strategy with thousands in my book for student teachers. STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER ( I have also shared the calendar with my own students for 37 years and the hundreds of kids I tutored.  Results included better grades, better time management skills, more time to study, and more restful sleep, because of less stress. 

I hope the calendar method will help your new year become a great new year!  

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 and 2018 (new edition) from The Authors' Zone.Grady also won a 2018 prestigious Moonbeam Award for Best Children's Book with Merchandise.

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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