When I think of what “teacher-centered” refers to, I first consider professional development.  That is our learning, where we are the students.  Professional development should always have the end result in mind: how will teachers use this material inside their classroom to better their students’ learning.  However, the PD itself, needs to be focused on teacher as well.

Here are some questions to consider:

  • What in this PD can ignite a fire in the teacher?
  • What can the teacher learn that he/she can pass on to his/her students?
  • What connections can the teacher make (with other teachers as well as resources) so that they feel justified and supported in the follow-up work they do?

I’m a firm believer in this type of professional development, which is why I designed and created the Teacher Art Retreat.  These retreats are meant to excite and inspire teachers so that they can bring this love of learning and creation to their students.  In addition to being teacher-centered, these retreats are arts-based.  This year’s Teacher Art Retreat will include workshops in visual art, music, movement, origami and Pysanky as well as some mindfulness, poetry and, of course drumming.  The atmosphere is welcoming and non-stressful – a place to relax, learn, create and reflect – a true retreat!

Finally, the connections that the retreaters make each year are simply wonderful.  Bonds within schools and districts have been started, reignited and strengthened, networks of like-minded educators have been broadened, and, most-importantly, friendships are made.  When you have teacher-centered and arts-based learning going on, the connections are faster and deeper.

At the end of our Teacher Appreciation month here at The Inspired Classroom, I want you to consider these things as you search for summer and fall professional development.  Do something that is going to inspire you!  After all, you need to get inspired, in order to be inspiring to your students.

More info – 

Are you considering attending the retreat?  Great!  We have local people from the MA, NH area come every year as well as a couple from out of the area. Think, “Teacher Road Trip! Last year we even had someone make a family vacation out of it and travel out of country from Canada!

The retreat runs from every summer in August and is held in Hampton, NH.  For all the info, go here.

Professional development should be for YOU as much as it is for your students.  After all, you need to GET inspired, in order to BE inspiring!

Hope to see you there!