Educating Esme: Diary of a Teacher’s First Year by Esme Raji Codell

In what has got to be one of the funniest, and at the same time saddest memoirs ever, Esme Codell, (or“Madame Esme” as she likes to be called by her 5th graders) shares what it’s like to be a 24 year old, first-year, white teacher in an inner city, predominantly African American Chicago public school. Despite all her heroic efforts to teach kids in a fun and innovative way by hosting authors, making a fairy tale festival, and letting her worst kids learn how it feels to be her by letting them teach for a day, she is reprimanded, shunned, and generally told to fit the standard teacher mode or else! A book that will make you stand up and cheer, Educating Esme gives you a behind-the-scenes look at what a teaching life is REALLY like.

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