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

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A must-read for parents, new teachers, and classroom veterans, Educating Esmé is the exuberant diary of Esmé Raji Codell’s first year teaching in a Chicago public school. Fresh-mouthed and free-spirited, the irrepressible Madame Esmé—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 classroom from a teacher’s perspective. While battling bureaucrats, gang members, abusive parents, and her own insecurities, this gifted young woman reveals what it takes to be an exceptional teacher. 

Heroine to thousands of parents and educators, Esmé now shares more of her ingenious and yet down-to-earth approaches to the classroom in a supplementary guide to help new teachers hit the ground running. As relevant and iconoclastic as when it was first published, Educating Esmé is a classic, as is Madame Esmé herself.

About Esme Raji Codell

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Published September 1, 2009 by Algonquin Books. 262 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Children's Books, Business & Economics. Non-fiction

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When a particularly obstreperous child makes her days exceedingly difficult, she changes places with him, inviting him to play the teacher and herself to play the confrontational student.

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Publishers Weekly

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Portions of Codell's diary of her experiences as a first-year teacher in a Chicago inner-city elementary school were first aired on WBEZ radio, in that city, as part of its Life Stories series.

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Book Reporter

We've all had teachers we've loved and teachers we've hated.

Jan 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Educating Esme: Diary of a Te...

Entertainment Weekly

When Codell started teaching at an inner-city Chicago public school three years ago, gangs attacked her class, and her own students stabbed a substitute with a pencil.

Apr 16 1999 | Read Full Review of Educating Esme: Diary of a Te...

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