by Kalli Dakos
There’s a new ME this year,
An on-time ME,
A clean-desk ME,
A first-to-hand-in-assignments ME,
A listens-in-class-to-the-teacher ME,
A teacher’s-pet-for-the-first-time-in-my-life ME,
An-always-willing-to-be-good-and help-out ME,
The problem is
The new ME
Is not like ME
Copyright © 2003 Kalli Dakos From the book Put Your Eyes Up Here: And Other School Poems. Simon & Schuster. Reprinted by permission of the author.
I had fun writing this poem, and imagining all the ways children would like to be “different” when school begins each year. The child in this poem is dreaming of her “perfect self” as a student, but of course there is no such thing. It is still fun to imagine and set goals for the person we would like to be.
Students could write their own Introducing a New ME poems!
Kalli Dakos has been celebrating the school world since the release of her best-selling book, If You’re Not Here, Please Raise Your Hand: Poems About School. She has written many collections of school poems, including six IRA-CBC Children’s Choice Selections, such as Our Principal Promised to Kiss a Pig, The Bug in Teacher’s Coffee, Don’t Read This Book, Whatever You Do! and A Funeral in the Bathroom.
As a former reading specialist and teacher, Kalli uses her educational background to create joyous, fun-filled assemblies and writing workshops that provide sound reinforcement for standards of learning, disguised as high-energy fun and filled with audience participation. She has visited schools all over the U.S. and Canada and as far away as Hong Kong.
Kalli believes that “a poem can change a child and a child can change the world.”