Educating Esmé: Diary of a Teacher's First Year

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Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2001 - Biography & Autobiography - 205 pages
Esme Raji Codell has come to teach. And she's not going to let incompetent administrators, abusive parents, gang members, weary teachers, angry children, dim-witted principals, or her own insecurities get in the way of delivering the education her fifth-grade students deserve. Fresh mouthed and miniskirted, Esme can be both pig-headed and generous, churlish and charming. As she embarks on her first year teaching in an inner-city public school, she quickly becomes a thorn in her principal's side. A twenty-four-year-old teacher with the enthusiasm of a ten year old, Esme too dedicated to give up - and too young to know better.

In Educating Esme, the uncensored diary of her first year, we find this irrepressible teacher wearing costumes in the classroom, dancing with the kids during rallies in the auditorium, roller-skating down the hallways, and putting on rousing performances with students in the library.

Not just for educators and parents, this poignant and often hilarious chronicle gives voice to anyone who has ever had an irritating boss, struggled to be an individual in a bureaucratic abyss, given 105 percent without getting thanked, and yet cared so much.

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User Review  - SimoneAlexis -

From the perspective of a first year teacher in an inner city Chicago school, comes Educating Esme. It is the real story of her experience teaching a class of 5th graders who are struggling with many ... Read full review

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User Review  - ezmchill -

I wanted to like this book, but certain parts just rubbed me the wrong way. Such as when the mother was punching her son, Esme's student, in school, and she thinks something along the lines of, "Well ... Read full review


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About the author (2001)

A nationally renowned advocate for literacy and literature-based instruction, Esmé Raji Codell is today "one of the nation's most sought-after voices for empowering teachers" (People) and a "Superstar of Education" (Scolastic Instructor). Esmé has been interviewed on CBS This Morning, CNN, C-SPAN's Book Talk, and NPR. The author of How to Get Your Child to Love Reading as well as award-winning books for children, Esmé lives with her husband and son in Chicago, where she spent many years as an educator in Chicago public schools and now runs the popular children's literature Web site and the unique literary salon, the PlanetEsme Bookroom.

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