Chavez illustration

Grateful for These Pandemic “I Am” Poems

Pandemic learning is tough on everyone: teachers, parents and, most of all, students. But kids are still writing poetry and talking about what matters to them. Today, I’m grateful that my neighborhood elementary school, Chavez, has caring teachers like Lindsay Singer, who make time for kids’ self-expression.

The “I Am” poem is a frequently-taught form for beginning poets. These third-graders have used it to tell us about themselves and their concerns, pandemic included but not always foremost. They are accompanied by art from their classmates. I’m grateful for their perspectives!

Kamira J.

I am polite and helpful.

I wonder how 2021 is gonna be.

I hear creepy things when I’m asleep.

I see food my mom leaves out from work.

I want Covid-19 to stop, a new president, and racism to end.

I am polite and helpful.

I pretend to be a ghost to scare my big sister.

I feel like someone is watching me sleep.

I touch a computer during the day.

I worry about my dog. He has had his head down.

I cry when I watch sad movies.

I am polite and helpful.

I say Black Lives Matter.

I dream that I’m candy or I am in Disneyland.

I try to be healthy and stay safe during covid-19.

I hope that Covid-19 and racism ends.

I am polite and helpful.

Angel C.

I am loving and playful to my baby sister.

I wonder if the coronavirus will stop some day.

I hear my babysitter talking to my big sister inside my house.

I see my babysitter is being funny inside my house.

I want to be in college when I grow up.

I am loving and playful to my babysister.

I pretend to be in my favorite game, called Call of Duty Mobile, and could teleport in  different games.

I feel happy because I’m with my favorite teachers!!!!!!

I touch my phone all the time to play video games like my favorite games.

I worry when I’m alone at home and when I’m home alone  I feel someone is watching me.

I cry when I get yelled at by my mom. 

I am loving and playful to my baby sister.

I say that the virus will stop someday because it has been 7 months.

I dream that I’m in college when I grow up.

I try to not give up on something hard.

I hope the virus stops some day.

I am loving and playful to my baby sister.

Lluvia U.

I am smart and kind.

I wonder if the virus is going to end.

I hear my family playing in the park.

I see my teacher helping kids online.

I want to be out without wearing a mask and be together.

I am smart and kind.

I pretend that there is no more virus.

I feel my keyboard and my fingers moving.

I touch books so I can read.

I worry about my health so I do not have to go to the doctor.

I cry when my siblings are mean to me.

I am smart and kind.

I say the world is pretty and it is.

I dream that I see a big cake covered in candy.

I try to be healthy so I will not get sick.

I hope that the covid is over so I will not get sick.

I am kind and smart.

Brandon F.

I am curious and kind. 

I wonder If I will ever be a millionaire.

I hear my dogs barking outside.

I see my computer lagging.

I want more dogs to play with them.

I am curious and kind.

I pretend to do my chores.

I feel good since I can be in school.

I touch my computer to type.

I worry about the Coronavirus.

I cry  when I am sad when my dog runs away.

I am curious and kind.

I say  the coronavirus must stop.

I dream when the virus will stop.

I try to be calm when I am angry.

I hope to stop covid 19.

I am curious and kind.

Diana M

I am a bit shy and talkative.

I wonder why animals can’t talk.

I hear the beautiful wind that the trees make.

I see sunsets with so much color.

I want a blue iguana or green iguana.

I am a bit shy and talkative.

I pretend to be a vet that is taking care of a hurt bunny.

I feel so sleepy that I just want to fall in a cloud and sleep.

I touch a glowing animal and I have never seen so many glowing colors.

I worry that I’m gonna get Covid 19 because it causes problems.

I cry when my sister gets me mad that I just feel like a red pepper.

I am a bit shy and talkative.

I say what makes me feel awesome and makes me feel like me.

I dream to wake up from the virus. It is gone. 

I try to get a good grade so my mom can be happy.

I hope to get a phone because I’ve never had one.

I am a bit shy and sleepy.

Alexander G

I am brave and confident.

I wonder when I can see my friends again at school.

I hear fireworks before I go to sleep.

I see my family coming back inside.

I want the world to be peaceful.

I am brave and confident.

I pretend to fight in lightsaber battles in my imagination.

I feel happy everyday because I can see all my classmates.

I touch my pencil and I start sketching.

I worry about getting coronavirus and infecting my whole family.

I cry when I have a big argument with my family.

I am brave and confident.

I say I want the world to be peaceful.

I dream of playing with my friends.

I try new things every month.

I hope coronavirus ends so no more people die from coronavirus.

I am brave and confident.

Jessica F

I am playful & smart.

I wonder if the coronavirus will ever stop.

I hear kids talking & chatting.

I see in the morning the sun going up in the sky.

I want in the future a horse & many other animals.

I am playful & smart.

I pretend that each time I’m an animal.

I feel that the future will be okay.

I touch an imaginary horse or unicorn.

I worry that what if things are worse in the future.

I cry when something sad in my life happens.

I am playful & smart.

I say unicorns are real.

I dream about sad stuff.

I try to work hard in school to get better grades.

I hope I can be a teacher & vet when I grow up.

I am playful & smart.

Alexander O

I am respectful and loving.

I wonder if people will friend me.

I hear a lot of natural sounds.

I see nature everywhere.

I want no more bad stuff.

I am respectful and loving.

I pretend to be a register at an imaginary store.

I feel wind touching my face.

I touch a lot of different soft things.

I worry about when my mami Angie leaves to work.

I cry when my mami Angie gets hurt.

I am respectful and loving.

I say a lot of different random things.

I dream of spooky things that I like.

I try to reach my goals and learn new things.

I hope I can graduate when I’m older.

I am respectful and loving.

Illustration of Chavez Elementary by Megan Gambino.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?
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Maureen Kelleher

Chicago Unheard blog manager Maureen Kelleher also serves as a senior writer and editor at brightbeam, a nonprofit network of education activists demanding a better education and brighter future for every child. Before joining the brightbeam team, she spent a decade as a reporter, blogger and policy analyst. Her work has been published across the education world, from Education Week to the Center for American Progress. A former high school English teacher, she is also the proud mom of a middle-schooler. Find her on Twitter at @KelleherMaureen.

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