Winter TAR Schedule Released

It has been an exciting few months planning and getting registrants for the first ever Winter Teacher Art Retreat!  With only 2 spots left, I thought I’d share the schedule we plan to enjoy in the hopes that we can make this a sell out event!  Meals and lodging are included and there are a few surprises embedded in there as well.  (But I’m not going to reveal those yet!)

engaged teachersWinter Teacher Art Retreat 2017 Schedule

Friday, February 10

5:00 Arrive at Essex Woods Retreat Center

  • Sign in, get your WTAR17 handbook (and your long sleeve T-Shirt!) and check into your room.
  • Opening Activities
    • Learn about The Inspired Classroom’s PD philosophy of Teacher-Centered PD.
    • Why SEL and the ARTs?
    • Let’s get to know each other.  As with all retreats and Teacher-Centered PD, we aren’t going to just go around and introduce ourselves, we’re going to play!  We’ve got some fun SEL rooted “get to know you” games prepared.
    • Music Makes You Feel – One of our focuses at this retreat is music: listening to music.  We will discuss this ever important topic of how music makes us feel as we prepare for our weekend together.  (involves a surprise)

6:00 Dinner – (included, of course!)

6:45 Soundtracking Your Classroom

  • I will share my experiences soundtracking my own classroom and some research about how listening to music can improve your focus or distract your intentions depending on your music choice.  We will listen to examples together.  Our weekend will be soundtracked and retreaters will be invited to observe themselves during these experiences.

teachers drama7:45 Drama Activities

  • First we will warm up with some drama basics and some tried and true drama activities that integrate naturally with SEL competencies.
  • The main event will be our “Social Gathering” activity (which includes a surprise) where we will explore SEL competencies first hand.  For this activity, retreaters will be invited to wear a special accessory from home.  (I’ll explain more about that to our retreaters about a week before.)

9:00 By this time, we will be ready to take advantage of the Hot Tub and Sauna located steps from our workshop building!  It’s a sleepover, so stay up as late as you want or take advantage of having time to sleep with no responsibilities waiting for you.

Saturday, February 11

7:15 Start the morning with some optional Light Yoga led by our own Mary Krikorian.  She has a wonderful way of gently stretching your body in a way that will calm and energize you all at once.  She will teach you a few tricks to share with your students as well!  You can also choose to sleep in a bit instead.

teachers collaging8:00 Breakfast (included, of course!)

8:45 Morning SEL Activities – Let’s continue to get to know each other through another fun game that builds our SEL competencies!

9:30 Visual Art and SEL Warm Up – Renee Schneider will be ready for us with a great guided imagery exercise using water colors as we prep for the big project.  With a little color theory and self searching, we will be primed to start our silhouettes!

10:15 break – Time to check out of your rooms!

10:45 Creating your Silhouette – Using a variety of materials, retreaters will create a self-portrait silhouette that describes who they are in an abstract way.

teacher creating12:00 Lunch (included, of course!)

12:45 Drum Circle! (with a little surprise)

1:30 Studio Time to work on Silhouettes

3:00 Share Time

3:30 Closing Activities

4:00 Departure – It will be hard to say good-bye to our friends!  The arts create an amazing community and this will do the same, no doubt.

I’m very much looking forward to working with some amazing teachers from around the area.  If you are interested in joining us for this great experience, be sure to sign up quickly.  There are 2 spots left!

*Activities and Times Subject to Change.


Winter Teacher Art Retreat
Teacher-Centered PD on integrating the arts of drama, music and visual art with wellness and Social/Emotional Learning. This overnight retreat starts at 5:00 on Friday, February 10 and goes until 4:00 pm Saturday, February 11, 2017. The cost includes double occupancy lodging and 3 meals. For a single room, please choose that option. If you would like to pay by check, download the registration form. There are also options for paying in installments. Email Elizabeth at
Price: $300.00

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Article by Elizabeth Peterson

Elizabeth Peterson has devoted her life to education and to reaching out to other teachers who want to remain inspired. Mrs. Peterson teaches fourth grade in Amesbury, Massachusetts and is the host of She holds an M.Ed. in Education, “Arts and Learning” and a C.A.G.S. degree with a focus in “Arts Leadership and Learning.” Elizabeth is author of Inspired by Listening, a teacher resource book that includes a method of music integration she has developed and implemented into her own teaching. She teaches workshops and courses on the integration of the arts into the curriculum and organizes the annual summer Teacher Art Retreat. Mrs. Peterson believes there is a love of active, integrated learning in all children and from their enthusiasm, teachers can shape great opportunities to learn.
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