Professional Development


Professional Development Workshops demonstrate practical and proven techniques for teaching in the arts, teaching about the arts and teaching through the arts.

They expand teachers' understanding of the visual and performing arts and help to reinforce classroom curricula.

Teacher Workshops

Professional development workshops for teachers demonstrate practical and proven techniques for teaching in the arts, about the arts and through the arts!

Deborah Simeral
Roz Fisher

Floyd Sonnier Houses: Architecture, History and Visual Art

Mini Workshop

Rosalind Fisher & Deborah Simeral

For teachers of grades K–12

Make connections with Louisiana history by exploring the art of local artist, Floyd Sonnier. Create your own Acadian scene and tell history through drawing and/or collage. This lesson can be used in the classroom to demonstrate students’ knowledge of French-Acadian culture as we draw homes, structures, and other details that encompass our cultural past. Students will find this lesson empowering as they see that architecture is made up of lines and shapes. This workshop will have two lesson plans: one adaptable for K–1, and the other for grades 2–12.

Poetry Alive

From Performance to Understanding

Poetry Alive

For teachers of grades 3–12

Using the same energy and ingenuity they put into their performances, Poetry Alive!’s professional development for educators is designed to accomplish two main goals. First, to provide hands-on, ready-to-use classroom activities -- no special stage, lighting, costumes, or theatrical experience needed. Second, to introduce teachers to a methodology, which will energize your school’s entire language arts curriculum. Poetry Alive! is more than a show, or a collection of classroom exercises; Poetry Alive! is a fresh and educationally proven way to think about poetry. Instead of asking what a poem means, Poetry Alive! asks "How would you stage a poem?" When students stage a poem, analysis and interpretation become concrete and tangible for students.

Kathy Reed

Truth is Power

Finding Your Own Truth and Expressing it Through Artmaking

Kathy Reed

For teachers of grades 9–12 (can be adapted for middle school)

Participants in this workshop will learn how to help students explore their feelings about social and cultural issues that affect them and members of their peer groups, as well as the larger community, and use art-making techniques to communicate their ideas. Emphasis will be on easily accessible materials and activities that even students who think they have no artistic ability can do. Additional methods using more involved processes will also be offered.

Jane Vidrine

Traveling Ukulele Suitcase

A Hands-On Music Workshop

Jane Vidrine

For teachers of grades K–5

Spice up your music and culture lessons with UKULELE!  Ukulele is a simple instrument to learn and play with confidence. It can accompany singing or be played as a stand-alone solo and ensemble instrument. Having its origins in Hawaii, ukulele is not strongly linked historically to Louisiana; yet, it is the perfect complement to Louisiana traditional folksongs because it is so simple to accompany 2-3 chord songs from living cultural groups including Cajuns, Creoles, Hispanics, Anglo- and African-Americans. During the workshop, music educator Jane Vidrine will have you playing and singing, exploring prepared lessons and creating some of your own lessons tied to concepts you already teach. Best for elementary music teachers. No prior playing experience needed. Instruments provided for the workshop. Teachers attending the workshop will be eligible for the Traveling Ukulele Suitcase (classroom set of instruments) to visit their classes.

Amy Waguespack
George Saucier
Kelly Clayton

Social/Media & Shakespeare

Activating Drama through Student-Friendly Strategies

Kelly Clayton, George Saucier & Amy Waguespack
For teachers of grades 6–12

Join middle and high school teachers as they learn to activate Shakespeare’s dramatic text in lively social contexts. Explore instructional strategies that help students to discover humor, character development, dramatic justice and subtext by applying social media and news reporting. You don’t want to miss this lively workshop that will bring the bard into the 21st century.

Jennifer Daniels

Interactive Stories, Songs, and Organized Movement

(Emphasis on Kids with Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder) | Mini Workshop

Jennifer Daniels

For teachers of grades preK–5

In this interactive concert setting, we'll discover that stories, songs and structured movement can help to calm the central nervous system, build pathways in the brain, and develop physical strength and balance – things kids with Autism and/or Sensory Processing Disorders need most.  We'll find out how to give children a sense of control over the material, so that they can participate with confidence and courage.  And we'll look at why interactive stories and songs, like Eric Litwin's Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes, have been a huge help.  Note: You need no musical expertise, but wear clothes you can move in.

Leah Graeff

Rothko Fractions

Mini workshop

Leah Graeff

For teachers of grades 2–5

Fractions can be a tough concept to introduce to your students. Parts, wholes, numerators, denominators, oh my! In this lesson, we will explore the basic concept of fractions and complementary colors through paper folding and color mixing, creating Mark Rothko inspired fraction paintings.

Lynne Clearfield

Moving Rocks!


Lynne Clearfield

For teachers of grades K–5

Study the creation of rock types, how rocks weather and the forces of erosion, all through movement.  We'll use our bodies, our friends, some scarves, and some music to experience the rock cycle firsthand.  Be the rock, the wind, and the water that make our earth look the way it does.

Jennifer Herbert

Creating Altered Books for Journaling

Jennifer Herbert

For teachers of grades 2–12

Encouraging the use of a daily journal has become an important teaching tool for students of all learning styles in every academic area. Teaching Artist Jennifer Herbert takes the typical ruled journal a step further and provides participants with fun techniques that transform basic materials into creative containers worthy of their words. Starting with old discarded books and introducing the use of paint, tissue, stamps, cloth, markers, pens, labels, embellishments, and magazines, this process offers students problem-solving challenges and personal choice opportunities. This activity will enhance any lesson and is a fantastic way to recycle those old paper treasures into a new masterpiece.


Dialectical Journaling with Altered Books and Found Texts

Toby Daspit

For teachers of grades 2–12

Explore ways in which dialectical journals can engage readers and writers of any age in conversing with altered books and found texts. Interactive poetry, fiction and theater exercises will provide multiple strategies on enlarging conversations with literary and other texts. While participants are encouraged to bring an altered book to utilize as a springboard for the workshop, it is not a prerequisite as various found texts will be available.


Click here to download our 2016–2017 Arts in Education Catalog.


To register for one of these workshops, contact:

Bree Sargent
[email protected]

You can also register on LPSS Coursewhere.

Workshops fees are $5 per registrant. LPSS educators: registration is paid by LPSS. Most workshops carry CLU credit.


All workshops take place at the AcA from 4:30–7:30pm unless otherwise stated.