Having Conversations,  Making Connections

Total Participation

Creating and Sharing

These are some of the responses that were told to me in the last 20 minutes of the Teacher Art Retreat that was held Monday through Wednesday of this week (August 15-17).

I am so energized by the time we had together at this wonderful professional development event – a teacher retreat – where teachers came together to have a most hands-on, interactive set of experiences for themselves and in turn for their students.

“When we have these opportunities ourselves, we are more apt to do these things with our students,”  one participant said while others nodded in agreement.

We ended each day with a reflection on the activities we completed and the process we went through, applying them to what we do each day in the classroom.  It was more than just talking about great ideas – it was DOING them.

The backbone of the retreat was building a Hinged Box Book.  This project was central to the retreat and was a work in progress throughout the three days.  Judy Lee, an art teacher in NH, led us through the creative process of making the structure and personalizing the piece.

We participated in three other workshops, one each day in drama (full of fun theatre games), poetry (with lots of involved writing) and music (with loud drumming).  Each workshop was fun as well as applicable to our teaching.  Both of which were listed as part of the criteria to be evaluated.

In addition, we started each day with an energizing greeting activity and some light breathing and yoga.  Breakfast and lunch was provided each day and you can’t forget the door prizes awarded on Wednesday!  Throughout the retreat, people added to the silent discussions on the wall and a piece of community artwork.

For more about the content of the retreat, visit the TR11 webpage on this site.

So, what did participants have to say?  Here are some quotes from their evaluations of the retreat:

I love feeling refreshed and renewed with good ideas for the classroom – inspired!”

A retreat is what I needed…”

Thanks for an amazing three days of creativity and professional development that truly fed our souls.”

Loved it, feel relaxed, stimulated, energized and centered – ALMOST ready to go back to school. ;-)”

Best take away from the retreat?  The people, interactions, sharing, laughter; the information and the chance to grow.”

Fun was the theme.  I feel like it energizes my teaching and inspires my own ideas… what I want to use in the classroom.”

Best take away from the retreat? To allow yourself and your students the freedom to explore and be creative.”

I will always believe that the best way to inspire your students is to inspire yourself as well.  That’s what this retreat has done for us!

Plans are already in the making for next summer, so don’t miss out on an amazing time with colleagues to GET inspired so you can BE inspiring!

Enjoy this slideshow of pictures from the retreat. 🙂