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Paperback Educating Esme': Diary of a Teacher's First Year Book

ISBN: 1565122798

ISBN13: 9781565122796

Educating Esme': Diary of a Teacher's First Year

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Like New

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Book Overview

A must-read for parents, new teachers, and classroom veterans, "Educating Esme" is the exuberant diary of Esme Raji Codell s first year teaching in a Chicago public school. Fresh-mouthed and free-spirited, the irrepressible Madame Esme as she prefers to be called does the cha-cha during multiplication tables, roller-skates down the hallways, and puts on rousing performances with at-risk students in the library. Her diary opens a window into a real-life...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Great holiday gift for your childs teacher

Real and awesome!! I am giving it out to plenty of teachers this year as a holiday gift. I hope it helps them realize I kind of understand what they have to go through as teachers and that I am grateful and love them for it!!

Educating all of us (to see all my book reiviews just google beansbookblog)

I really enjoyed this book, written in diary form, by a 5th grade teacher who chronicles her first year in a Chicago public school. Esme hides nothing: she tells us about the creepy principal, the mother who beats her child in front of her, the misbehaved boy who turns his behavior around after being assigned to teach the class for one whole day, the mesmerized students who adore being read to, the crying episodes at the end of a furstrating day, the huge increase in student test scores, the successful visit by an author, the battle over using Madame Esme instead of Ms. Codell. She experiences highs and lows and everything in between. And she pulls it off with the very energy with which she teaches her class: lots of great imagery and a strong voice which pulls the reader right into her world. Since I spent my first three years teaching in a Chicago public school as well, there was much I could intentify with in her narrative. And though I currently teach in a middle class high school, her insights still offer much to me and to any teacher of any grade. Above all, passion for teaching and learning will benefit students more than any mandated curriculum or state standards ever will. I have always subscribed to that philosophy, and I hope I will always practice it


I read this book all in one sitting because it was absolutely wonderful. I am one of those bright-eyed, cheery teachers-to-be who is certain she can change the world and I know I need a reality check every once in a while. Esme's spirit and uncensored voice are compelling. Her experiences will make you laugh and cry, and at times you might gasp in shock at the brutality in her truthfulness, but at no time do you lose touch with her sense of dedication. She responds to idiocracy and teaches her children the only way she knows how--by doing what she KNOWS works and what is best for her students. After all, they learned their alphabet, their division, and to love reading. Shouldn't those be the measure of a great educator?I am a future teacher who has trouble standing up for myself. Esme does what she knows is right, never what she is told. This book showed me that I don't have to swallow the garbage that is shoveled at me. Thank you, Madam Esme, for teaching me confidence. PS: One negative reviewer who criticized just about everything in the book REALLY wanted to use the word "kowtowing" instead of that other misspelled one. Perhaps she could have used a few minutes in Madame Esme's class herself.

Remembering my first year

Reading Educating Esme brought back strong feeling (both positive and negative) of my first year,1968, as an inner city school teacher. No,she doesn't have THE answer, but then , who does? My greatest pleasure was passing this book along to my daughter, who is now neck deep in her first year of inner city teaching. It was a lifeline for her to know that others have experienced this manic depressive world and not only survived but felt blessed to have had the experience.

A first-year teacher's must-read!

Although teachers in suburban schools will find themselves longing for the freedom of speech that Madame Esme exercises when dealing with her superiors, they will at the same time find themselves vindicated by knowing that SOMEONE out there is telling administrators what for! As a first year teacher myself who felt as though I was drowning, this book gave me hope and laughter -- two necessary tools for surviving the first year in any school. I completely don't understand the reveiwer who hated this book, claiming that not all teachers are "like that"; that "some of us have morals." This person must have read only a sentence or two in this book. Esme Codell has extremely lofty morals -- and all teachers should aspire to them. She has heart and creativity and strength. The only flaw to this book is that most first-year teachers are not as gifted and confident as Codell, so in that sense it may be difficult to relate to. However, it contains a wealth of fresh ideas, and like I said, those two magic ingredients of a teacher's survival -- hope and laughter.
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