Brianne Gidcumb | June 2016

Your Summer Bucket List

Dear educators, happy summer to each one of you! Thank you for the incredible work you do and the dedication you demonstrate on behalf of our students every single day of the year. We at EducationCloset hope that this summer will provide you with refreshment, refocused energy, and renewed passion. So today, we offer you a list of eight summer bucket list activities to refresh and inspire you.

Take a nap

First things first for your summer bucket list… you deserve this. If you’re not a napping person, give yourself an hour or two to just sit and relax in peace and quiet. Refresh, restore, find clarity, find peace, find gratitude. Teaching is hard work, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Restore your physical body.

Go to an art museum or exhibit

Whether or not you’ve been to an art exhibit before, spend a couple of hours surrounded by the artistic expression of others, whether you go to a big art museum or a local exhibit. Reflect on each artist’s purpose, and how they used visual art to express something powerfully and tangible.  You might even find some great cross-curricular connections you can explore with this summer bucket list when you return to the classroom!

Go to a concert

Again, whether you go to see a professional symphony orchestra, a rock concert, or a local band in the park, find some time to connect with the power of music. Enjoy the experience of engaging in aural expression on this summer bucket list. Reflect on how the performance of a piece of music is project-based learning at its very core, that it invites creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking, and allow the power of music to refresh and inspire you!

Go on a walk

Take a walk or a hike and focus on observing your surroundings. Walk in silence if you can, bringing your attention to the sights and sounds of what surrounds you. If you walk a familiar path, find something new. If you walk an unfamiliar path, find a sense of wonder as you practice the observational skills we want to instill in our students.

Learn something new On your Summer Bucket List

Find a new hobby or take a one-time class to learn something new. Pick up those knitting needles that have been sitting in the closet for years unused (like mine have). Go rock climbing. Take a class in creating blown glass. Whatever calls to you, pursue it.

Read a book for professional or personal growth

If you follow my articles, you know that this has been a major focus in my own path for some time (see my articles on Books for Personal and Professional Development, Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5).

Read a book just for fun

Picture books for your classroom do not count! Pick up a book and read, just because!

Attend our Summer Connectivity Conference

Find renewed inspiration for your classroom from the comfort of your own home at our STEAM/Arts Integration Conference! Where else can you get quality professional development while sitting in your pajamas with your favorite coffee mug? We are thrilled to bring you incredible five-day sessions, with yet more amazing breakout presentations available on-demand after the live event. See our conference website for information about this great opportunity for professional development!

About the Author

Brianne is a former music educator from Chicago and current graduate class instructor with EdCloset’s Learning Studios. She earned her Masters degree in Music Education from VanderCook College of Music and has over a decade of experience in the elementary general music classroom. With her experience in the performing arts, Brianne is dedicated to building connections between the arts and Common Core Standards, 21st century learning skills, inquiry and project-based learning. In addition to her work with EducationCloset, Brianne is a yoga instructor in the Chicagoland area. You can also find Brianne here: