I teach mainly upper level students. I love them, I love seeing them grow and change in their language proficiency. I love that they impress me… even through a pandemic… with the thoughts they can express in their new language. I also love that they don’t take exams. Yes… I love them so much but I’m also really glad I have a couple days before the school year ends to think about what I did that worked well and what I did that did not.

On the last two days of school, while my upper level students were enjoying an early out for the summer, I worked on planning for next year. I laid out the list of things we would need to study that we didn’t make it through this year. I laid out the list of new things I want to study. And I created my scope and sequence for the 21-22 school year. Yes, before I even left 2020-21 behind, I set up 2021-22!! And now… I have checked ALLLLL the way out.

July 4th weekend is sort of a turning point for me in the summer. For the first 5-6 weeks, I just suck up every minute of sunshine and free time. In the last 5-6 weeks, I start taking little steps to get back into school mode while still “summering on”.

Today, I ordered my plan book.

Next week, when it arrives, I’ll open the box. That’s enough. It’s still July.

The next week, I’m presenting at iFLT… forget about school, I’m going to be fully invested in 5 days of Zooming.

July 20-21 I’m training a district on using Huellas… and I’m going to write my first week’s plans in my plan book!

The last week of July… Ugh… that’s so soon… The last week of July, I’m going to polish my welcome back letter with permission slip to students and parents.

And then it’s August. I go back on the 15th! I think I will have done enough before August 1 so I will choose to “Summer On” the first 14 days of the month. My plans for week 1 will already in the book and Huellas is ready to roll on year 2!

We hope our Huellas curriculum lets you take baby steps this summer into the Back to School groove! Don’t miss our Sustainable Summer Series July 26-30 on our Huellas Facebook group. We’ll be doing quick 15-30 minute trainings to help you get ideas for the new year but still enjoy time in the pool, in the sun, or with the kids!

Author: senoracmt

I began teaching Spanish in Illinois in 1994. I have taught levels 1-4 in a small rural high school, 8th grade introductory Spanish, Biology 1, and 101 and 102 at the community college level. My Spanish classes are partnered with the community college to offer students 8 semester hours of dual credit on completion of Spanish 4. In 2011 I met Carol Gaab and Kristy Placido and have since co-authored the book "La hija del sastre" with Carol Gaab and authored the novels "La Calaca Alegre", "Bianca Nieves y los 7 toritos." "Vector," "48 horas","Bananas", "Sostenible", and "Papálotl" through Fluency Matters. In 2006 I became National Board certified and I have been serving as a mentor both for candidates seeking certification in world languages other than English and a virtual mentor for candidates in all certificate areas. I completed my Masters degree in Spanish education in 2011 and did my research on the use of Understanding by Design to create meaningful cultural units for the language classroom. I am a frequent presenter on this topic, please consider me if you are interested in a workshop on backward design. In 2013 I was named the ICTFL Foreign Language teacher of the year and in 2014 I was selected as CSCTFL's teacher of the year. In November of 2014 I was lucky enough to be one of the five finalists for the ACTFL National Teacher of the Year in San Antonio, TX. What a "Cinderella" experience! You can reach me via email at senoracmt at

2 thoughts

  1. I wish I could be so intentional! I’m trying but my thoughts won’t stop churning. Last year was a lot to handle and my brain won’t let it go. Would you mind sharing which plan book you chose? I’ve spent way more time over the last few days trying to decide which one to purchase than I care to admit! I’d love to know your personal preference if you don’t mind sharing. Thank you and enjoy your summer!

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