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Mary Ruth McGinn 310x277

About Learning for Real

As a teacher with 28 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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Beki and Josue trust walk

Trust Me (VIDEO)

Trust Walk“Where am I? I feel scared. I’m confused. I’m going to fall.” These words were common among members of Take Off the Mask Kids Opera Company as they were blindfolded and led by a partner through the hallways of the school. Up and down stairwells they proceeded with great trepidation and anxiety.

Each took turns being leader and follower. What was learned during this one-hour exercise could not be replicated or simulated by a textbook or curriculum guide. Effective communication, trust in self and others, consciousness of self and surroundings, risk taking, cooperation and patience were applied in an authentic context as students moved cautiously from one floor to another with their classmates.

Upon reflection, Carley wrote, “Even though I was scared, I still trusted Ruby to keep me safe.”

 

Carley 1

Julia 1

 

Mary Ruth McGinn

About Mary Ruth McGinn

As a teacher with 28 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. Fifteen 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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