Poem for a New Year

I would be quite shocked to learn that there are not many NPR listeners among the readers of this blog. The chances, I think, are good that you heard some of this piece on the radio earlier last week. A new school year begins. What are your goals for teachers and students? : NPR

Kwame Alexander, known to us for his brilliance as an author who writes for our students and their peers, suggests setting an intention or goal for the new school year in the form of a poem. Submissions will be edited into one crowdsourced poem, which I can’t wait to read. (The details can be found at the link above.) He offers as inspiration an excerpt of the Maya Angelou poem Woman Work. I loved the idea of applying this model to the work that is getting underway now – an invitation to shift perspective in a creative way. So, I’ve given it a stab. I didn’t officially submit it to the NPR callout, but here it is. 

Librarian Work

I’ve got reviews to read

The collection to weed

The audit to complete

The school bus to meet

Guides to create 

Information to curate

Blog posts to write

Censorship to fight

Teachers to support

Data to report

Access to provide

Research to guide

Lessons to learn

Trust to earn

Answers to know

Students to grow

I am going to try this with different groups of students in these first few days, maybe as a collaborative exercise as the final result of the NPR callout will be. So far I’ve had AP Lang students give it a try – thinking about either the school year as a whole or just the class, with some fascinating, funny, and moving results. 

What is in your poem this year? 

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