I was a teacher for 37 years and a golf coach for 33 years. Old habits of teaching and coaching never go away because they are such a big part of who I am. However, after being retired since 2011, I sometimes forget the powers held by a teacher and coach.
I recently went to a golf course to play 18 as a single. I called four friends, and no one could play, so I went alone. I played the first 9 behind two men, who continually looked back at me. I have to say I was playing great - 6 pars and 3 bogies on the front. On the back 9, they asked me to join them, and since golf is a social game, I did. They complimented me on my game - I was playing even better on the back 9 - and we made small talk and the group was quite comfortable. The younger of the two men hit an errant shot - next to a large oak tree. He looked quite perplexed about how to handle the shot, and kept looking in his bag, then looking at the tree. he had plenty of space - and the tree would not interfere with his swing, except in his mind. I walked over and said, "The tree is not there." He looked at me and said, "Yes, it is," I disagreed, "No. it is not. The tree is not interfering with your swing, so it is not there. And you are only about 30 years away, so think about how hard you would throw the ball to get it to the green if you were throwing it underhanded. Then swing your club exactly that hard." I repeated the directions when asked , and he executed the shot perfectly, putting the ball next to the pin. He turned and asked, "How did you make me do that?" I laughed and explained that I had been a teacher and a golf coach, and my philosophy has always been this simple line: If someone thinks you can do it, then you can do it.
This is the true essence of teaching - taking a human being who is unsure, and explaining how to do something, and telling that person that you believe they can do it. It's all about relationships, believing in the student, and helping them to believe in themselves. Such a simple formula, but with so many intricacies. I was so happy to be able to help this golfer to improve his mind and improve his game. He will remember this lesson.
I loved teaching and coaching, and it's great to know that I can continue to uplift others - through my children's book, my book for student teachers, and through golf. Teaching is still the best thing I know how to do. Kudos to all the teachers who live their influence through students every day - in person, or virtually. You matter more than you know!
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. www.Fieldtripzoom.com and a company called www.StreamableLearning.com 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 web page for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required reading. Signed copies are available www.dederittman.com 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! http://www.fieldtripzoom.com/
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 email@example.com The website www.gradygetsglasses.com now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!
Please like Dede's new page Grady Gets Glasses for updates about her children's book. https://www.facebook.com/gradygetsglasses?ref=hl
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