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About Learning for Real

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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Pack Your Suitcase

Where will the journey of learning lead us this year? To prepare, we must pack our suitcases in anticipation of the adventures that lie ahead. And so we began with a simple question, “What should we pack for this year-long trip?” Responses from the students were quite practical until Kathryn raised her hand and stated,

“Passion is one thing I think we should bring.”

It was then that the conversation took a metaphorical detour. What else should we pack? Commitment, energy, inspiration, cooperation, determination, friendship, confidence, respect, responsibility and rest were indeed necessary, they all agreed. A few days later one company member suggested we throw mistakes in the suitcase as well, so that we may learn from them along the way.

Pack Your Suitcase


Suitcase-Sana

Suitcase-Nebi

Suitcase-Sonia

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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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