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

Three Days of Inspiration!

The Inspired Classroom is happy to announce its 5th annual Teacher Art Retreat

August 10,11 & 12, 2015

Masks~Storytelling~Music~Book Making~Visual Arts


Get Inspired ~ Be Inspiring

Register now!  Download the flyer.


Join other Retreaters on Facebook!

Join other Retreaters on Facebook!

Want to know what a Teacher Art Retreat is? This video will give you a taste of the inspiration that occurs. Includes footage from TAR12 and TAR13.

DSC01783An amazing 3 days of creativity and professional development

that truly feeds our souls.”  Amy M.

Finishing off a project at the Retreat

Click on the heading for more details.

The Basics

When: August 10-12, 2015   8:00-3:00 Where: St. James’s Lodge, Hampton, NH Who: ALL educators: teachers (any subject, any grade) and administrators!   PDPs will be awarded to all attendees.

What is a Teacher Art Retreat?

It’s Professional Development that is


Building books at the retreat

Hands-On Arts-Based Teacher-Centered Yes, you read that right!  This is professional development that was created with the TEACHER in mind.  Our philosophy at The Inspired Classroom is that teachers need to get inspired so that they can be inspiring to their students.


First and foremost, this retreat is for YOU.

The Teacher Art Retreat is a place where you can relax, create and discover with other like-minded educators.  This is what sets the retreat apart from other professional development you’ve had. Our goal is for you to interact with a variety of art forms so that you can get ideas to bring back to your teaching.  The workshops are hands-on and accompanied by discussions of how to apply your new knowledge and skills to what you do with students every day.

Each workshop session will be hands-on and fun! Time each day will be spent reflecting on how you can apply what you have learned in each workshop. Start each day with coffee, muffins and an energizing warm-up.  Each day you will have studio time to work on your focus project.  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!

Who Attends Teacher Art Retreats?

If you are an educator who believes in the arts, you should attend the Teacher Art Retreat! DSC01913Our professional development is taken by pre K through high school teachers including those who teach special education, art, music, guidance, ELL, technology, ELA, science, and general ed, as well as school nurses, reading specialists, behavorialists, speech therapists, home school teachers, long term substitutes, veterans and first year teachers.  We’ve even had administrators attend! Time each day will be spent discussing how the things we learn apply to what you do with students every day. Part of the power of the arts is that they transcend subjects and age levels. Not to mention, YOU will get something personally out of this too… The arts touch us all!

Get the PDPs or Grad Credit You Need

Every participant will be awarded PDPs or attendance hours for their records. In addition, we have some options for you to earn GRADUATE CREDITGo to our “Earn Grad Credit” page for more info.

Lodging Options

Coming from far away and need a place to stay?  We are fortunate to have a local hotel willing to give us a discounted rate.  Lamie’s Inn is located on route 1 in downtown Hampton, NH and is attached to a local favorite restaurant and bar, The Old Salt.  It is only minutes from our retreat.  Please let them know you are reserving your room to attend the Teacher Art Retreat and you will receive 15% off the regular room rate.  Call (603) 926-0330 to make your reservations and go to the Lamie’s Inn website for more information.


The Hampton Falls Inn is also a good option and is less than 5 minutes from our retreat site and is conveniently located on route 1 with quick access to route 95, 495 and 101.  They also have a wonderful pool and Jacuzzi to use.  Call 1-800-356-1729 to make your reservations and go to the Hampton Falls Inn website for more information.

If you have any questions or run into any trouble, please send Elizabeth an email.

It is so fun to meet people from various places who share an appreciation in arts in education!  If you are coming from far away, you will certainly enjoy your time in and around Hampton, NH.  It has a nice downtown with many restaurants and shops to explore.   Not to mention, you will be a very short drive to the ocean! In addition, Hampton is 60 minutes to Boston, Massachusetts and less than 15 minutes to Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  These are both wonderful and exciting cities to visit while you are here!

Registration Information

Registration is OPEN Register early – get a deal.  Register with a friend – get an even better deal! Register here online or download this flyer and registration form and send a check to The Inspired Classroom, PO Box 303, Hampton Falls, NH 03844.

If you don’t want to register through PayPal, download our flyer and registration form and send a check to The Inspired Classroom, PO Box 303, Hampton Falls, NH 03844.   Come to the retreat with a friend!  Tell your colleagues about this great event and get special pricing!  Start asking around now, so you won’t miss out!

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

Retreat Workshops

Focus Project – Mask Making

maskLocal artist and teacher, Renee Schneider (presenter from TAR13) is back to lead us through this year’s focus project – Mask Making.  (The focus project  is one we will work on each day for the three days of the retreat.) Masks have been a part of human culture from the earliest days of human civilization to the present.  They have served many purposes from the sacred to the practical, as a form of expression, ritual, storytelling, communication, rebellion, and celebration of life and of death, to name a few. 

masksIt goes without saying that creating masks in the classroom can support just about any history lesson, but don’t stop there. In this workshop you will learn the basics of many mask making styles and ideas of how to use them across the entire curriculum. You will construct your own plaster mold of your face and decorate it as well as craft some other styles of masks with some creative writing also thrown in. This focus project is for you to relax and create on your own – go through your own creative process.   It is a wonderful experience each year.

20150401_164151Renee Schneider  has a BFA in Graphic Design, and a Master’s of Education in Creative Art & Learning. She worked as a graphic artist and then as a kindergarten teacher for several years incorporating her belief in tapping into a child’s creativity through integration of the arts in the classroom. Now, combining her love of art, and teaching, she owns and operates Colorful Kids, providing private art lessons to children while she continues to develop her own art. Her latest endeavors include writing and illustrating Swing Time, her first published children’s book.


Workshop 1 – Inspired by Words of Peacemakers

Julie will introduce us to famous quotes and lead us through a viewing of brief clips of people who changed the world: Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Malala Yousafzai and Nelson Mandela before we begin to interpret the words that are most meaningful to us.  Retreaters will create a personal piece using mixed media that has profound meaning to their lives and to their teaching. They will leave with copies of the social justice word wall, famous quotes, and other writing pieces that go along with a social justice unit on peacemakers. They will take away the idea that everyone, no matter how big or small, has the power to be a peacemaker and an agent of change in their classroom and beyond.

More info

This activity can be a kick-off activity or culmination activity for a biography or social justice unit of study. It can be modified for all ages – Julie’s 3rd grade students, originally created the word art after an extended study of Martin Luther King, Jr, that was a focal point to an integrated social justice/biography unit. This unit began with an in-depth discussion on the meaning of the word “adversity,” – it included a social justice vocabulary word wall, and intensive study of the lives of various peacemakers, with an emphasis on their character traits that helped them overcome adversity and how the power of words can change the world. Retreaters will examine the lives, words and actions of various world peacemakers, discuss famous quotes by them, play a game called “The WORD”, and create a visual piece illustrating a powerful word of their choosing with mixed media.

Julie O’Neill wrote her first paper on Gandhi and Martin Luther King, infusing it with the lyrics from the Beatles’ Let It Be, over 25 years ago, and she has been studying peacemakers ever since. Julie holds a BA in Social Sciences from New College of Hofstra University, and a Masters in Teaching from Simmons College. She has taught at the early childhood, elementary, and middle school levels in Boston Public, Lawrence Public, and Sparhawk School, and was an instructor at the Museum of Science for many years. Julie is a practicing Responsive Classroom teacher, and she currently teaches 3rd grade at the Cashman School in Amesbury, MA.


Workshop 2 – A Trunkful of Stories

Wanna hear a story?  In this workshop we will experience storytelling, a triad in the arts – visual, kinesthetic, musical. Gail will bring her percussion folk instruments so participants can explore ‘hearing’ between the lines as she tells. She will lead us through a variety of vocal and movement explorations for character creations. Fun! Yes.   We will participate in the retellings of several folktales and then hear a few of Gail’s own family stories as well as those stories students wrote.  She will take us on story-finding activities to discover how we can find our own and inspire students to write theirs. We will mine and mime written stories to make tellable tales.  Gail will describe the student performances and show samples of books of students’ stories that have been “published” for library and family reading.

Gail-N-HermanGail N. Herman, PhD is a storyteller and educational consultant who specializes in integrating the arts. She taught in public schools (primary and middle grades and g/t) for 10 years and then in various colleges where she taught Storytelling, Speech, Movement, Early Childhood, Visual Imagery, and other education courses. She has given many performances and teacher/student workshops based on her book Storytelling: A Triad in the Arts and has performed on four continents.  Her book Kinetic Kaleidoscope: Exploring Movement and Energy in Visual Arts was the basis for her workshops at MICA, George Mason University, as well as at NAEA and for docents in several museums.  She will teach again this summer at The University of Connecticut’s Confratute, in Storrs, Connecticut.

Gail is quite a find! Click to see what other workshop participants have said about her!

“Gail is so full of enthusiasm.  She’s inspirational.  I appreciate the multi-cultural aspect of the class, and the use of music, instruments, and other realia.  Even with my 26 years of teaching experience, I learned valuable things to add to my curriculum.  Presenter is both knowledgeable & interesting.  Time flew by!”

“I learned many great Strategies to take back with me and incorporate in my class.”

“Thank you for everything. It’s been great fun, learned many practical things that I can apply easily.  I never tell stories but read to my students.  After your workshops I feel more comfortable doing movement and storytelling in my classroom. I will use the Noun Rondo, Opposite Machine, and the Adverb Mime Game first thing in the fall”

And here’s a list of the amazing instruments Gail is bringing with her for us to share and play!

Drums –  from Ghana, Nepal, India, Kenya, and US; Cabassa (2), Claves (3 sets), Castanets, Vibraton,Flexatone, Chimes, Cu Goobi, Thunder Tube, Shakere’ (4), Anklung from Thailand (2), Slide whistles (2),  Stir Drum (India), Guiros (3), Temple Blocks (2), Bells, Small Shakers, Ocarina, Gong, Lyre, A one stringed instrument and an original African stringed instrument, Plus a Baritone Uke


alt book and materialsWorkshop 3 – Interactive Bookmaking for All Ages


Whether you have content to process or a story to tell, bookmaking can be an exciting way to interact with information. Retreaters will have the opportunity to see examples of a variety of student/presenter created books, including altered books and hear about ways these have been integrated into classroom curriculum. Using templates and our creativity, we will use creative folding, create pull-outs, doors and other interactive elements to create our own books! Retreaters will come away with a new perspective on how to approach student products or learning materials in all subjects. They will also acquire new ideas for creating books in subjects that would not typically present this opportunity. Leave with new ideas and your own book of a self-chosen style and topic. Many models and ideas will be explored. If you encounter any old, falling apart, or grimy books that would otherwise be thrown away (especially baby board books) please bring those to explore an opportunity to create altered books.

Click for more pictures!

folded book page


flap page  book pagefolded page  altered book3   altered book2

JaclynJaclyn Karabinas
spent 12 years in the elementary school classroom before shifting gears to serve as an instructional coach and consultant. She earned her Master’s Degree in Curriculum & Instruction with an Arts Integration Specialization and has extensive experience in the world of Educational Technology integration. She loves experimenting with visual media, both hands-on materials and digital.


Listening to instructions before it’s time to play.

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!

For general information about the retreats, visit the Teacher Art Retreats page.

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!  Start asking around now, so you won’t miss out!


Check out our location!

We have a wonderful location!  It’s bright, it’s quiet (it’s ACed) and it will be a wonderful place to retreat!

St. James Lodge in Hampton, NH 77 Tide Mill Rd Hampton, NH 03842   IMG_20140803_193502

  There is plenty of space for eating and creating. IMG_20140803_193434   IMG_20140803_193508
There is a large yard, a patio gathering area and a great view of the marsh.  (Not too mention a great kitchen and sound system!) DSC01783This is a lovely site for our Retreat!

Cancellation Policy

Paid registrants may send a substitute. If for any reason you can’t attend, 100% of your paid registration will be refunded when you notify The Inspired Classroom at least 48 hours in advance. Notifications after this time will be refunded less a $25 service fee.