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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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What I’ve Learned (VIDEO)

As we prepare these last days before our original opera production of Strike ‘n Spare, we are thinking carefully about what we want to convey to the public. What do we REALLY want our audience to know and think about after the opera?  What message must we deliver and what do we want people to know about us as a company and as individuals?

Our hallway exhibition will showcase the process of the opera throughout the year so that everyone will understand our purpose and mission along the way. It shows the academic accomplishments and the life lessons acquired on the journey.

When asked what they have learned in this process, company members generated a collective list and then wrote about their own personal, powerful lessons.  What each student shares and is carrying with him into life beyond third grade should make us think profoundly about what is important in educating our children.

 

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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.

Comments

One Response to “What I’ve Learned (VIDEO)”

  1. On May 16, 2015 at 11:28 am responded with... #

    This brilliant production, ably introduced by its authoritative 8-yearold Production Stage Manager Manuela, demonstrates the creativity, eloquence, and self-confidence that “ordinary” third-graders can acquire when they take responsibility for a year-long complex project – the composition and performance of an original opera.
    Strike ‘n Spare provides new meaning for my favorite art form, and renews my confidence in American kids.
    BRAVO, class McGinn!




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