Thursday, September 12, 2019

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." Winston Churchill

School is in full swing, and some students will be giving up in a few short months or less.  I know this because I was a teacher for 37 years, and I say to all my teacher readers -  do not let this happen!

I taught challenged learners for 36 of my 37 years in the classroom.  Some had major reading or learning disabilities.  Some were struggling with addiction issues that prevented them from learning.  Some had a dysfunctional home life,  and although they did better when they were at school, the gaps in their education really hurt them by the tenth grade.  For some, my English class was their first "regular" class, meaning not in the special education room.

I loved all of these students, but I had to really work hard to boost them to believe in themselves and try again.  Many felt isolated and insecure, but I found a way to show them they were not alone. I also praised small steps and attempts, which led to bigger strides and more self confidence, which led to success.

Although the Internet was not around for my entire career, I found stories about the failures of famous people they knew.  I told them about poor Thomas Edison, whose entire workshop, filled with years of his work and hundreds of prototypes, burned to the ground, forcing him to begin anew.  That is real perseverance.  I told them about Walt Disney's many failures, working in a freezing office with one little mouse running around, and how that mouse became a name we all recognize - Mickey Mouse. 

I believe that these stories of real people who failed multiple times helped my students to keep their enthusiasm and try again.  Of course, teacher enthusiasm is a necessary ingredient to help the students to keep working.

Here is a link to some stories of famous failures, and the people did NOT give up!  Maybe this site will help your students.

Teachers work so hard to provide content, but often, creating a supportive environment for students to lean from their failures and persevere is equal in importance.  

Good luck with all your students this 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.  and a company called 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
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Pinterest   Rittman Publishing, LLC ® 

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