Professional Development Tools for Teachers


487 teachers
Over 12,000 students, grades 1-12
46 workshops + three Summer Intensives

Our Professional Development for Teachers helps educators make core subjects, even math and science, more meaningful and exciting through visual art, drama, music and dance. Paid for by your donations and membership fees, our trainings are taught by Kennedy Center Teaching Artists and benefit students all over the North Bay.

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Pamell Gallagher, 6th Grade Teacher,
Olivet Charter School, Santa Rosa, CA

When funding for her school’s music program dried up during the last recession, 6th grade teacher Pamell Gallagher swung into action.

She felt a great sense of responsibility to bring more of the Arts, which she sees as essential to learning, into her classroom. So she began regularly taking our Professional Development Tools for Teaching workshops.

Tools for Teaching — which is made possible by our donors and members — trains teachers like Pamell how to use the Arts to help students master math, science, history, reading and other subjects. The workshops are taught by visiting Kennedy Center Teaching Artists, all experts in their art form.

Bringing the Arts into the classroom, Pamell says, “is about connection to self and others as well as self-expression. It’s about being human.”

These days, many kids have little or no exposure to the Arts at school or in their family. “That’s why it’s so important to have an inspiring Arts-based training like this,” Pamell says. “What we learn in your workshops could make the difference between some students being exposed to the Arts or not.”

Pamell’s taken workshops on Movement, Poetry, Improv and Storytelling as aids to learning. Over time, she’s been able to bring more of the Arts into her classroom.

“When you incorporate the Arts, expression and creativity into learning, it taps into something kids love about school,” say Pamell. “It’s fun, energizing, a great way to learn and touches the heart.”

She uses movement and chanting as “energizers” to keep her students awake and attentive. The playful, collaborative principles of improv have helped build relationships and trust among the class. Dance and movement have helped her students embody and grasp math concepts. Poetry has helped her class speak and present with more drama and emotion.

“I’m always energized and inspired by your workshops,” Pamell says. “We don’t just sit and listen, we participate as a learner so we can experience what we’ll ask our kids to do. It’s so important that students today get to experience dance, movement, drama, poetry, improv and the other arts.”

To learn more about the Center’s Professional Development workshops, click here.