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A new school year begins. What are your goals for teachers and students?

What will school look like for you and your family this year?
Rodin Eckenroth
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What will school look like for you and your family this year?

With a new school year underway, we're wondering what goals you have set for yourselves if you're a student or teacher.

NPR poet-in-residence Kwame Alexander asks you to think with intention and write about one of your goals in the form of a poem.

It should be 10 lines or less. The first six to eight lines should be all the things you'll end up having to do this school year, and the last line or two should be that one goal that you want to work toward.

For inspiration, Kwame Alexander offers this excerpt from Maya Angelou's poem, Woman Work.

I've got the children to tend
The clothes to mend
The floor to mop
The food to shop
Then the chicken to fry
The baby to dry
I got company to feed
The garden to weed
I've got shirts to press
The tots to dress
The can to be cut
I gotta clean up this hut
Then see about the sick

So what would you like to see accomplished this year? Set yourself a non-negotiable goal.

"Maybe you want to keep your classroom better organized, or perhaps you want to expose your students to poetry," Alexander says.

"Or you want to read one book or make one person smile each and every day," Morning Edition host Rachel Martin suggests.

Share your poem through the form below. Then Kwame Alexander will take lines from some of your pieces and create a community crowdsourced poem that will be read on-air and published online, where contributors will be credited.

This callout will close on Sept. 1 at 5 p.m. ET.


By providing your Submission to us, you agree that you have read, understand and accept the following terms in relation to the content and information (your "Submission") you are providing to National Public Radio ("NPR," "us" or "our"):

You are submitting content pursuant to a callout by Morning Edition related to a segment with Kwame Alexander wherein he creates unique poetry based on listener submissions. You understand that you are submitting content for the purpose of having Kwame use that content to create a new poem or poems ("Poem") with the material you submit. You must be over the age of 18 to submit material.

You will retain copyright in your Submission, but agree that NPR and/or Kwame Alexander may edit, modify, use, excerpt, publish, adapt or otherwise make derivative works from your Submission and use your Submission or derivative works in whole or in part in any media or format and/or use the Submission or Poem for journalistic and/or promotional purposes generally, and may allow others to do so. You understand that the Poem created by Kwame Alexander will be a new creative work and may be distributed through NPR's programs (or other media), and the Poem and programs can be separately subject to copyright protection. Your Submission does not plagiarize or otherwise infringe any third-party copyright, moral rights or any other intellectual property rights or similar rights. You have not copied any part of your Submission from another source. If your Submission is selected for inclusion in the Poem, you will be acknowledged in a list of contributors on NPR's website or otherwise receive appropriate credit, but failure to do so shall not be deemed a breach of your rights.

Your submission will be governed by our general Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. As the Privacy Policy says, we want you to be aware that there may be circumstances in which the exemptions provided under law for journalistic activities or freedom of expression may override privacy rights you might otherwise have.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Rachel Martin
Rachel Martin is a host of Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First.
Reena Advani
Reena Advani is an editor for NPR's Morning Edition and NPR's news podcast Up First.