Wednesday, October 30, 2019

"Strong people stand up for themselves. Stronger people stand up for others." Chris Gardner

The Chicago teachers have been on strike for 9 days. Sadly, the United States is paying very little attention. Why is that? People expect teachers to simply "do whatever it takes to make it work."  

If you have never been a teacher, you have no idea of the sacrifices and adjustments teachers have to do to "make it work."

Here are a few real-life examples:

"Sure, add 5 more students into my class of 30. I will need more desks added to the already overcrowded room."

"Yes, I will buy all my classroom supplies again this year, because the school board cut school supplies out of the already underfunded budget."

"Of course, I will shorten my lunch and fill in the spot needed for student supervision. No one needs 30 minutes to eat."

"Yes, I would love to take a second job because although I work 60+ hours a week as a teacher, the salary for this one is so meager, I can't afford my car insurance. "

Chicago teachers have been working in an underfunded system for years.  Their class size is out of control, despite the ratio of teachers to students.  Looking at that ratio, I am reminded of Mark Twain's observation about numbers -  "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."  Teachers are not just fighting for salary and school funding- they are striking for support for special education students, and for having librarians in schools with a large minority population. They want equity for immigrant students who need IEPs, but the parents cannot understand English, so none is available. Teachers want restorative justice coordinators, so students can be coached on how to deal with conflict, not just be penalized for being involved in a conflict.  Indeed, these teachers are striking for for their students! 

The teachers MUST stand up for themselves and their students.  They can no longer go along to get along in a namby-pamby fashion.  A strike is the only way to get the attention they need and deserve, in their attempt to resolve so many important issues. 

I hope the Chicago teachers and their students are big winners with their strike. They are standing up to make conditions better for their students, as well as themselves.  I like their message. 

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. 

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