Notice You’re Enough

Sometimes I’m really hard on myself. Today I was looking back at the things I’ve made to use with my students this year and thinking… I really haven’t been making NEW stuff. I’ve been relying on things I already had on hand. I normally try to add a few new things in each semester… but I haven’t had the mojo… and I was beating myself up. But then my daughter Allison (this little sunshine), our social media guru,

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asked me what I was posting for the new year, and I was digging through my folders for some little nugget of wisdom and I realized something big!

Ok, I didn’t create much new stuff this year. I wasn’t wrong about that. But look at THIS.

This is a screenshot of the inside of my folder of pictures from the 2020-21 school year. That’s it. TWELVE PICTURES. I took 12 pictures in 9 months at school.

We know that this (21-22) is a hard year and I’ve felt, in many ways, like I’ve been failing MORE this year than I did last. I was really good at teaching virtually (I think). And I have been not so good at teaching in person to kids who have to Zoom in. (Sorry , Zoomers, if you’re reading this.)

But then, as I was looking in this year’s picture folders for something to share with Allison for her New Year’s post on Instagram, I immediately was struck by HOW MUCH WE HAVE DONE! This is ONE SEMESTER of photos from my classroom!

Obviously not every day is photo-worthy, but each of those folders represents a day’s activity that built community and proficiency in our classroom. It made me feel… like I needed to go easier on myself. We’re doing this thing! It isn’t always easy, but we’re doing it.

No, I didn’t get all my Seal of Biliteracy testing done last year, but that’s ok. My students may test lower this year, that’s ok. We’ve moved a lot slower through content but we have had a lot of fun and made a lot of memories doing it.

We start back Monday… and again, we go back to some uncertainty (this morning, the line for COVID testing in town was reaaaaaally long so who knows what this semester holds), but we can only do our best and we have to remember that that is enough.

Happy New Year. I am SO grateful for you. Thank you for your feedback, your kind words, and your encouragement. 2022, Please be kind.

P.S. I have a new clip chat coming VERY soon, we are putting the finishing touches on now. If you liked Lily and the Snowman (French version), you’ll love it. It is a darker version of Lily. 🙂 Krista has even agreed to French-ify it for us!

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

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