This retreat is over, but please check out the upcoming retreat!

The next Teacher Art Retreat is scheduled for August 5-7, 2013.

Contact us for additional information.

The Inspired Classroom is happy to announce its second annual Teacher Art Retreat!

An amazing 3 days of creativity and professional development
that truly feeds our souls.”  Amy M.

Join other preK-12 educators for three days of discovery and inspiration for yourself and your teaching.  Experience the creative process and learn new ways to integrate the arts into the work you do with your students every day.

Get Inspired, Be Inspiring!

When: August 13, 14 & 15;  8:00-3:00

Where: Amesbury Cultural Center, Amesbury, MA

Who: ALL teachers—Any subject, any grade!   PDPs will be rewarded to all attendees.

Whether you are interested in ARTS INTEGRATION, ART EDUCATION, or just need some time for YOURSELF, this retreat, built just for TEACHERS, is for YOU!

What is the Teacher Art Retreat?


First and foremost, this retreat is for YOU.

Each workshop session will be hands-on and fun!

Time each day will be spent also on how what you learn in each workshop can be used in your teaching.

Start each day with coffee, muffins and an energizing warm-up.  Each day you will have studio time to work on the musical composition.  In addition, you will attend one of the other three workshops.  Everyone will attend all workshops!  No one will miss ANY of the fun!  Lunch will be provided each day as well as some special treats (door prizes too)-just for YOU!


How to Register – This retreat has already occurred.  For information about the next retreat, email:


Retreat Workshops

Music Project – Composing a Song with Your Students with Debbie Ambrose

Bring music into your teaching in a new way by learning how to compose a piece of music with your students!  In this retreat’s focus project, participants will learn about how content-rich musical composition can be used to motivate students and deepen their understanding by composing music themselves.  NO formal music skills are required for this!

We will start with an overview of how Debbie has linked music to the classroom, listen to some examples of things she has done with students and then begin composing.  We will spend the rest of our three mornings composing a short, large group piece while we discover each participant’s skill.  This will truly be a collaboration where individual talents are discovered and utilized.

About Debbie:

Debbie  works as an elementary teacher for the Exeter, NH School District.  She has worked with students composing original music for various events and curriculum related projects and enjoys bringing the arts into the classroom whenever possible and practical.  She is excited to be collaborating this coming August with The Inspired Classroom  ( ) for this year’s summer arts retreat!  Debbie is a graduate of Emerson College in Boston where she studied Psychology-Education and minored in Theatre Arts and Theatre for Children.  She produced and directed a seasonal musical production in the North Andover, MA schools for over ten years which raised money for their enrichment council.  She has led children’s musical play classes and theatre arts workshops for kids.  Debbie has also taught vocal performance and musical theatre performance privately.    She has been active in the Miss America Scholarship program and is a former Miss Massachusetts.    Debbie is a singer and a songwriter.  She also plays guitar.   She has toured with an original cabaret act, performed in dinner theatre, and done some work in jazz clubs, on The Spirit of Boston, and other general business vocalist work.  In recent years, Debbie has been singing with her parish music ministry and as a praise and worship leader  for various events throughout the Diocese of NH.  She has also been composing Contemporary Christian music and is near completion of her first album.    Debbie lives in Exeter, NH with her husband John, her two amazing teenagers, Emily 16, and Matt 15, and her two dogs, Bonnie and Clyde.

We have featured Debbie in posts at The Inspired Classroom before.  Check it out:

Music and Literacy

Teacher Talents


Historically Speaking: The Art of Teaching History Through Storytelling with Lori Cotter

Do you remember loving to listen to family stories, or perhaps a grandparent or other relative who told tales of days gone by? Make your classroom come alive with local history and genealogies that tell the social history of their home town.  Introduce your students to the art of storytelling and the power of human survival. You just might be “spellbound!”

  • Teachers will learn how to become an effective storyteller in the classroom, find good material through reading and research, get to listen to examples of favorite stories, become inspired to use examples, understand that students can control their own learning after hearing stories, and be able to teach students to become good storytellers themselves.
  • Teachers will create their own lesson idea through the share time at the end.

About Lori:

Lori White Cotter, B.S. M. ED presently teaches 8th grade English at Hampton Academy, a middle school, in Hampton, NH. She has been an educator for 32 years, ranging from kindergarten to high school levels. She has published her first book, “Toppan’s History of Hampton: The Early Settlers” (2009 Association of Historical Societies of New Hampshire Award Recipient) based on the stories collected from her great -great -great grandfather. Lori lives in North Hampton with her husband, Ron. She has two boys, Christopher, 25, and Casey, 20. An avid historian and amateur archeologist, Lori looks forward to bringing her love for the past into your classrooms through storytelling, the forgotten art.


The Art of Math – with Amy Mitchell

The beauty and wonder of math will be explored through hands on natural and artistic experiences. Activities learned will naturally lend themselves to differentiated instruction and a feeling of success for all!

The art and harmony of math surrounds us inwardly and outwardly. During this Art Retreat session, participants will begin to see math as an interconnectedness to nature and to themselves. Together, we will explore how geometry and it’s patterns are a foundation for greater mathematical thinking. We will discover how these patterns will help our students, and ourselves understand the whole and parts of the whole. We will construct math through artistic expression, both as guided drawings as well as pictorial story telling.
Participants will come away with ideas, activities and possibilities for extending their math lessons and enhancing student learning. These activities will appeal to the variety of learners in a classroom and will evoke excitement, discussion and expansion to your students. Participants will create radial designs to enhance learning of multiplication as well as creating a more traditional chart using block beeswax crayons. We will discover how the triangle and square were created, patterns in nature, learn a playful method of measurement in the classroom and much more!
About Amy:
Amy Mitchell is a Third Grade teacher in Amesbury, MA at the Cashman Elementary School and this year marks her third year in this role.  She is  also a mother of two elementary school aged children who inspire her daily!  Amy has a keen interest in holistic education and tries to infuse this into her teaching as much as possible! In spare moments, Amy spends time with her husband and children, reads and enjoys research.


Vision Boards with Elizabeth Peterson

In this session, retreaters will design and create a vision board.  You will be given that precious commodity: TIME to create something for yourself to use in your home or classroom.  You may bring in some of your own materials as well as use the materials we will provide.  Emphasis will be put on the process of creating a positive and motivational vision board for personal or professional (or a combo) use.

A vision board can also be called a Treasure Board or a Creativity Collage.  It will become something that will help us to stay motivated and focused as busy people and educators.  We will use our time during this session to look through magazines and other gathered materials and to design a vision board of any custom size.   Working through this process helps one to focus on the important work and some will say that creating a vision board that contains the things you aspire to be will help you to achieve your goals.

Participants will walk away with a visual representation of what they hope for themselves as a successful person and educator.  Even if you have created a vision board before, creating one in this time will be a new experience.  You may even put a new twist on something you’ve experienced before.  By going through the process yourself, you will get an idea of how the creation and use of a vision board can be helpful to your students.  As we reflect on our own process, we will discuss ways we can approach such an activity with the students we teach, emphasizing the idea that they are in charge of their own learning.

About Elizabeth:

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 is currently enrolled in a C.A.G.S. program through Plymouth State University 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, leads an arts integration PLC (PLaiC) and is adjunct faculty for PSU.  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.


Follow-up Links and Additional Information

Keep in mind, this retreat is not just about the workshops, it’s about building a community of like-minded passionate teachers.  We will be busy with other activities too: movement, brain gym, collaborative art work, discussions, drumming.  When you register, you will get more info on all this other fun stuff!

Teacher Retreat 2011- A Success!

What it means to Feed Your Flame

Happy Teachers, Happy Kids

Arts Integration Summer Grad Course

For ALL the posts about our TEACHER ART RETREAT go to this link.


Come to the retreat with a friend!  Tell your colleagues about this great event and get special pricing!  (scroll back up to see)


 Check out our new location!

Amesbury Cultural Center

36 High Street

Amesbury, MA 01913

If using GPS, put in that your destination is Friend Street in Amesbury, MA.  Park on Friend Street or in the lot on the street in downtown Amesbury and walk across the bridge.

Continue down the walkway…

The Amesbury Cultural Center is right in front of you!

Come in and enjoy your retreat!