Observations on a new semester – The “I Am From” Poem Revisited

I have almost completed the first week of class. I have two more classes to go, but I can safely say that my classes this semester are going to rock. I’m psyched about school now. My students have lifted my spirits. This is why I entered this profession.

I just came out of a class where we did the “I am From Poem.” I have written about using this activity in class before. I enjoy this poem because it teaches me about the students’ lives. One of the poem’s stanzas is a list of sayings you heard growing up. Today, I heard some of the most humorous things: “Just because she was in your face doesn’t mean you had to hit her…” “stay out of grown folks’ business…” and “the grass may be greener on the other side, but you still have to mow it…”

I’ve noticed a shift in the poems over the past few years. One stanza is to list toys, objects, and mementos. More and more students are including game consoles, cellphones, and computers; less and less are incorporating basic toys. Also, it always amuses me how many people list Spiderman, Superman, and Batman as their role models. That, at least, hasn’t changed over the years.

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