Q&A;: Marcia Gay Harden Talks Great Teachers
Academy Award winner Marcia Gay Harden dishes on the great teachers in her life and summer reading.
PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12
Academy Award Winner Marcia Gay Harden
Q | You come from a military family and attended school overseas. How is your kids’ school experience different from your own?
A | My schools were quite diverse—those who serve their country come from every race and religion—and so the military schools I attended were a wonderful melting pot. Fortunately, my kids go to a great public charter school that is also very diverse. I think parent involvement is much greater these days. The teaching and learning style is different, too: from the obvious smart boards and computers and learning websites to the emphasis on kinesthetic and experiential learning.
Q | Any great teachers in your life?
A | I had a science teacher in middle school who inspired me ... simply because she acknowledged me and made me feel that what I had to offer was worthy. My second grader has a teacher, Ms. Morris, who is sort of like Ms. Frizzle from Magic School Bus. She just did a wonderful project where the kids performed a moving museum of great African-Americans. It was presented asa play for the whole school. She followed up with a geology project in which the kids occupied stations and spoke as “scientists.” I love this type of hands-on learning.
Q | How do you motivate your kids to read during the summer?
A | Reading is a joy for my kids, and to swing in a hammock on a lazy summer day reading a good book just goes with summer. I love the reading lists from the schools, and we visit the libraries or browse Barnes and Noble and pick out a few. Reading together helps, and setting a reading time is good, too—we have “family reading time,” which accomplishes both of those goals.