In this thought-provoking Aspire to Lead episode, Joshua Stamper had the privilege of sitting down with the incredible Rita Wirtz. Rita shared her wealth of knowledge and experience in education, focusing on three critical themes. First, she emphasized the importance of not labeling students, highlighting how these labels can limit their potential and self-belief. Rita discussed the value of recognizing each student’s unique strengths and nurturing a growth mindset.
Next, we delved into the concept of feedback over failure. Rita stressed that feedback is a powerful tool in promoting growth and development in students. By reframing failure as feedback, we can create a safe and encouraging learning environment, motivating students to persevere and improve.
Rita also underscored the significance of administrators actively immersing themselves in classrooms. She shared her insights on the positive impact of administrators connecting with both students and educators on a personal level. By being present in classrooms, administrators can better understand the dynamics of their schools, foster a sense of community, and make informed decisions that positively influence the educational experience.
Join us for a dynamic conversation with Rita Wirtz, and gain valuable insights into reimagining education, providing effective feedback, and the vital role administrators play in creating thriving learning environments.
About Rita Wirtz:
Rita Wirtz served as Title I ESEA Program Evaluator in the California Penal System, Curriculum Coordinator for Sacramento County Office of Education, School Principal, Reading Instructor, K-Adult Teacher and Special Needs educator. She shared her experiences as Keynote Speaker and Seminar Leader traveling throughout the United States, inspiring other educators and parents.
Mrs. Wirtz volunteered on numerous Boards in Sacramento, California, including Homeless Coalition, SARB (School Attendance and Review), Neighborhood Study Center, Fantasy Theatre, Harmony Arts, etc. She also volunteered for Homeschool groups, offering Keynotes and workshops on reading instruction.
Rita taught about thirty needy children around her potbelly stove in their historic 1858 cabin house. Kids learned to read with Mark Twain maybe looking on. One student later graduated from a California University with Honors, and became a Space X rocket scientist! Rita wrote a book about teaching him.
Rita Keynoted for a multitude of organizations including school districts, California School Boards Association, Chapman University Commencements, Child Welfare and Attendance, Migrant Education-Mini Corps, Kindergarten Conferences, Head Start, ASCD and CASCD, (Supervision and Curriculum groups). Also Mentor Teachers, Learning Disabilities Conferences, ECE (Early Childhood Education), Special Education SELPAS (service areas), etc.
Mrs. Wirtz holds a BA in English and Speech, Reading Specialist, Masters in Reading, and Administrative Services Credential, pre-Adult. Because of her work with speed reading, she became a certified Hypnotherapist and NLP (Neurolinguistics) practitioner. Rita also studied “Brain Gym”, movement in learning.
Rita is devoted towards helping other instructors by sharing extensive life affirming experiences. Through her ‘Housecalls’ program, she demonstrated reading strategies demonstration lessons in nearly 600 classrooms, with all ages, preschool-adult. Walking the talk makes her a sought after personality, with rave reviews at each appearance.
Besides teaching, her greatest love is writing. “Writing is like breathing.” She has written a number of books for parents and teachers including “Reading Champs, Teaching Reading Made Easy (2014), and published her Memoir “Stories From a Teacher’s Heart: Memories of Love, Life and Family” (2019). Rita’s newest book is “Reading Champions! Second Edition, Teaching Reading Made Easy!” (2021).
In addition, as Featured Blogger for Bam Radio Network’s Ed Words, Rita brings fresh insights to the world of education and life. As of June 2023, there are 196 blogs to choose from, and 12 mini- podcasts on tough topics affecting educators. Mrs. Wirtz reflects on her accomplished career with humility and reflections of how all working toward common goals make a difference.
Follow Rita Wirtz:
- Website: https://www.ritawirtz.com/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/RitaWirtz
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ritamwirtz/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ReadingChamps/
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ritawirtzreadingchamps/
- BAM Radio Blogs: https://www.bamradionetwork.com/user/ritawirtz/
Supporting the Podcast!
Have you ever thought about supporting the Aspire to Lead podcast? For just $5 a month, you can help me continue to create and produce valuable content for aspiring leaders in education.
I understand that everyone has their own preferences and budgets, so if $5 a month isn’t feasible for you, no worries! The podcast will always be available to listen to for free. However, if you do find value in the podcast and can afford to contribute, your support would mean the world to me. By becoming a patron, you’re enabling me to continue doing what I love and providing you with quality content.
Thank you for considering supporting the Aspire to Lead podcast on Patreon. Your contribution, no matter how small, is greatly appreciated
Need a Presenter for a conference or school PD?
Contact Joshua Stamper for presentations on Restorative Practices, Leadership Development, and Innovative campus systems.
Watch my session on Trauma Informed, restorative and social emotional practices at www.teachsummit.com/stamper
Follow the Host, Joshua Stamper:
Aspire to Lead Won the FireBird Award!
I’m happy to announce that my book, “Aspire to Lead”, won the 2022 Leadership Book Award from Speak Up Talk Radio!
It is a great honor to get this kind of recognition and I really appreciate all your support!
The book is available for purchase on Amazon.
Review the Podcast
I want to give a huge shout out to those who have taken the time to provide a review on Apple, Spotify or any other podcast platform. It truly means the world to me that you would take the 30- 90 seconds to share how the podcast has positively impacted you or why other educators should check out the show.
This post contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase through these links, The Aspire Podcast gets a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.