Thursday, January 3, 2019

"You will never get a second chance to make a first impression." Will Rogers

A new year and a new semester are here, and for many Education majors, student teaching will begin in a few days or a few weeks. I loved teaching for 37 years, and if my late husband had not been diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer, I would have stayed in the classroom for 40 years. I loved school and teaching so much, I even wrote a book for student teachers.  One of the major lessons I always tried to impart to my student teachers was the lesson about first impressions - and that only one chance is given to make a great first impression. Students, just like other people, will judge the new student teacher, at least partially, on appearance. So, what should new student teachers do to succeed with the first impression - and beyond?

First, be neat and clean, all the way down to the fingernails. Make sure hair is not in the face, as facial expressions play a major part in the communication process when teaching. Be careful in your clothing selections - nothing too tight or revealing, and nothing that is a distraction.  Kids will look at your shoes, so spend a little time polishing your shoes. They will also notice every single thing you wear - rings, watches, etc., so be sure that your choices are all appropriate. If you have lots of tattoos or piercings, ask your mentor teacher about whether they can be perceived as a distraction, and adjust your wardrobe accordingly. 

One of the most difficult things for student teachers to realize is their power over students, and knowing that the student teacher is constantly being monitored.  Student teachers, just like mentor teachers, are role models, not just in the classroom, but everywhere in the community  Over and over, each time the student teacher meets a new student, a parent, a new teacher - they are having to make a good first impression again. Keeping that information in mind, the student teacher should always put his/her best foot forward, knowing that all of the first impressions of the semester just might add up to a job offer. Make you you wear a smile and crown yourself with kindness and empathy, all essential elements of a first impression. 

Teaching is the best job there is - it is the profession that teaches all other professions. Teaching also carries great responsibility to be one's best at all times.  After all, a student teacher never knows when another first impression will come along!  And as Will Rogers said, "You will never get a second chance to make a first impression."

Dede's book for student teachers is available from the author (personally signed) at  or unsigned on Amazon.  The book has won 8 awards, and packs must-know info into of one hundred easy to read, thoughtful, and humorous pages

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!

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

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