Learning for Real View All Posts

About Learning for Real

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

Discover Other Local Blogs

We have a great number of amazing blog posts contributed by our local bloggers. Discover what is happening in your neighborhood by reading their latest posts.

The Art of Collaboration (VIDEO)

Merriam Webster defines collaboration as “the action of working with someone to produce or create something.” When stated as such, the act itself sounds relatively simple to achieve, yet most of us struggle in situations where we are expected to work together to accomplish a common goal. We see this everywhere . . . in the workplace, in our homes, our communities, our leisure activities and entertainment and in our government.

I applaud our school system for recognizing collaboration as imperative to the learning process by including it in the curriculum, but these skills are not learned in isolation or through simulated, contrived tasks. Collaboration is learned in situations where students are motivated by an authentic purpose to accomplish a common goal. Collaboration is not a single skill. It encompasses a distinct set of skills, each one essential in contributing to the effectiveness of the group effort.

Collaboration has been our company’s greatest challenge this year. As a result of our individual and collective setbacks, we have a newfound appreciation for working together. Recently, I asked the company, “What is needed to work collaboratively? What must we do? What skills do we need?” In small groups the students recorded their reflections. These thoughts will serve all of us as we continue to improve the art of collaboration.

Like this post? Sign up for our Daily Update here.
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

| Comments are closed.

Engage us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter