New Mouse [Poetry Friday]

Happy Poetry Friday! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)

School has started up in some form or another in most parts of the country, and I’m thinking that, even digitally, many kids (and teachers) are feeling lost in a maze of new rules, new technologies, new people, new platforms…Here’s a poem from my very first trade picture book, Stampede! Poems to Celebrate the Wild Side of School. I originally wrote it as I imagined a child moving mid-year and having to go to a brand new school. But I think the core emotion of this poem probably resonates with lots of students this year, given all the changes to the way they’re learning.

That book is out of print now, and the rights to the text have reverted to me. I’m sharing a poem here, and I’ve finally put together a .pdf for teachers that has all the poems (plus a teaching guide and a storytime guide, etc.). It’s a free gift for anyone who subscribes to my Salas Snippets monthly e‑letter for teachers. If you know a teacher who might be interested, please pass this along. Thanks!

Hang in there, kids and teachers! You’ll find your way together!

And for lots of wonderful poetry, don’t miss the Poetry Friday Roundup with educator/writer Kiesha Shepard!


17 Responses

  1. This year is a wild ride for students and teaches and parents. It seems there just isn’t one good option but lots of people trying to make the best of less good options anyway. My heart goes out to all navigating this school year (and many others navigating lots of changes too).

  2. Quite perfect for someone new and now, for finding one’s way on Zoom, or what other online maze that’s chosen. You are so generous, Laura, to share all the poems! Thank you, will pass it on!

  3. Excellent poem! My husband is an art teacher, grades K to 12, and it sure is different for him this year. Everyone wears masks and each teacher wears a large buttons with a photo of their smiling face (photos that my husband took of all the teachers). It sure is different for everyone!

  4. This pretty much sums it up … the navigation of this strange year … but how this little poem and image bring a needed smile to one’s nervously-twitching whiskers…

  5. Oh, yes…we teachers are feeling a bit out of sorts. But, we are starting to feel our feet on firmer ground. I can now say that I’m enjoying the technology I’m learning and so grateful to all the invisible programmers and technicians that make it all work. We just opened our library learning management system today and there were kids waiting to get in to talk to us. Oh, it did my heart good to see them wanting books and chats. We will survive this time.

  6. I’m sorry to hear this is out of print, but glad to have a copy! It was always a favorite for Poetry Friday in the classroom!

  7. Yes, what a virtual maze so many are navigating in school and out of it too. Your poem perhaps will take away a few of the ouches many are experiencing, and add some smiles, lovely, along with your generosity. I like your “hallway clone,” and the melancholy of the aloneness, we could all use some together time.Thanks Laura.

  8. Yes, this one is perfect for what students are facing today. Still have my treasured copy of Stampede on my shelf. 🙂

  9. Love this! Thank you! (And I signed up.) Ruth,

  10. A maze is a perfect analogy for the start to this school year. We’re all new “mice” this year! Here’s hoping that we find our way through the maze and that there’s a nice piece of cheese waiting at the end. Thanks for sharing!

  11. I spent the week navigating the maze of directives from our special ed department around virtual learning. The maze is more about covering your a** than about what is good for kids. I start with virtual learning on Monday. I hope it all goes well. Here we go… Thanks for your encouragement and support. I’ll be in touch soon.

  12. Definitely a different kind of maze this year. But I still have dreams of getting lost on the first day of high school. My brother was a senior when I was a freshman, and one of his pals misdirected me for fun (I guess?) That feeling of panic has not yet subsided.

    1. Oh, no! My high school was huge and was then added on to. Not only did I get lost while I attended, but even when I went back as a sub. Humiliating. We’re the Lost Sisters, I guess.

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