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As a teacher with 29 years of experience, Mary Ruth McGinn has always sought innovative ways to meet the needs of each of her students. She has spent her entire career in schools where a majority of students speak English as a second language and where poverty significantly impacts the... Read more

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An Empty Stage (Videos)

Now that we have achieved our ultimate goal of creating and performing an original opera, where do we go from here? What do we do? These are questions the students ask as they enter the classroom “the day after” the final performance. After striking the set, depression sets in.

All of this intense work . . . and now it’s over. No set. No lights. No music. No costumes.

An empty stage . . . so it seems. What the students come to realize is that the stage is now set.

The foundation has been laid. They are prepared to begin the first scene of a new original work, whatever that may be and wherever that may lead.

From the first day of school until now, our purpose has been crystal clear and our direction steadfast. What is our purpose now? Thus begins, in earnest, reflection and conversation about next steps.

Raneem

 

Angel

 

Philip

 

Lauryn

 

Samantha

 

Michael

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Mary Ruth McGinn

About Mary Ruth McGinn

As a teacher with 29 years of experience, Mary Ruth McGinn has always sought innovative ways to meet the needs of each of her students. She has spent her entire career in schools where a majority of students speak English as a second language and where poverty significantly impacts the learning experiences and opportunities of students and their families.

Sixteen years ago she had an experience that changed her life and altered her professional path in a profound way. She attended training sessions at The Metropolitan Opera Guild in New York City, spent nine intense days living the process of creating an original opera and learned how to replicate the experience with her students. She then began creating opera with her students and using the process of creating the opera as a vehicle through which to teach curriculum and life skills. The authentic purpose for learning coupled with the arts provided the perfect stage on which to construct a love for life-long learning.

She currently teaches at Stedwick Elementary School in Montgomery Village, Maryland where she is creating another original opera with her third grade students.

Read more of Mary Ruth’s blog Learning for Real.

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