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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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Words of Wisdom

On the last day of school, known as Move Up Day, all students travel as a group to meet their new teachers in the next grade level. Members of Harness the Stars Kids Opera Company made banners of welcome for the incoming company with sincere, thought provoking messages. They also wrote individual letters. Their words of wisdom were heartfelt and genuine in delivery. One sentence from David Montoya’s letter stood out. It speaks volumes about David’s interpretation of the classroom culture in which he has been immersed all year.

“In this class there is no perfect, there is no cool.”

Upon reading this, I felt an immense sense of pride as I realized the depth and breadth of my students’ academic, social and emotional maturity. They are now ready to move on and teach what they have learned to others. And I am ready to teach others what they have taught me.

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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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