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As a teacher with 31 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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A Hard Day (VIDEO)

Harness the Stars Kids Opera Company understands well that making mistakes and pushing through setbacks are part of the learning process. However, knowing this doesn’t make it easier when we are inside a situation that presents us with disappointment, doubt and hard feelings. After a particularly difficult afternoon when company members were struggling with internal conflicts and a host of negative bahaviors, we sat in our metaphorical circle to reflect, air grievances and offer solutions to move forward. We then excused ourselves to write and express our personal thoughts and feelings in an attempt to get beyond the wall in front of us. With only twenty-five working days until the opera premiere, we will allow nothing to stand in our way.

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Mary Ruth McGinn

About Mary Ruth McGinn

As a teacher with 31 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. Eighteen 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 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. The profundity of the work, the transformation of the students and a desire to “bring to light” new ideas in education, inspired Mary Ruth to share this way of thinking and learning. In 2006 she was granted a Fulbright Scholarship, sponsored and funded by Teatro Real and Fundación SaludArte in Madrid, and a sabbatical from Montgomery County, to travel to Spain to develop and implement a similar program there. She lived there two years training teachers and working side by side with teachers and students in their classrooms. The reception of the project was overwhelming. Mary Ruth returns to Madrid every summer to train a new team of educators and artists in the process. In the summer of 2018, she joined forces with The Kennedy Center to offer the opera training for teachers in the Washington Metro area. She currently teaches third grade at Stedwick Elementary School in Montgomery Village, Maryland Read more of Mary Ruth's blog Learning for Real.

Comments

One Response to “A Hard Day (VIDEO)”

  1. Avatar
    On May 2, 2015 at 11:51 pm responded with... #

    Ms. McGinn,

    You’re FAMOUS! Well done, you have succeeded in touching the lives of so many. Glad I saw these posts.

    Respectfully, Rand

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