teachers you remember because they're boring or mean, others because they
are inspiring. Esme Raji Codell was a first year teacher in Chicago
when she wrote Educating Esme. "So much of teaching is sharing."
And "it's not our job to be liked, it's our job to help them be smart."
In sharing her stories of her fifth graders, we see the successes and the
challenges. Funny and frank, Esme tells about having a problem student
take over the class for a day, imaginative activities she led, and
how she continued to battle her principal over the use of her name!
If I were a child in school now I'd want her for the teacher. (Sue
Gooden, Concord HS, Wilmington, DE firstname.lastname@example.org)
Have you ever wondered what
the classroom looks like from the OTHER side of the teacherís desk?
You all know what itís like to be a student in a classroom, but whatís
it really like to be the teacher? In Educating Esme: Diary of a Teacherís
First Year, you find out right away that itís not just about grading papers.
Madame Esme, as she prefers to be called, has written down a day by day
account of her first year as a fifth grade teacher in an inner city school.
She works really hard doing lots of work including things like...
- creating a time machine
for her students to ďtravel inĒ while they read
- lending out her own personal
library of books
- getting an author to come
and visit the school
- planning a fairy tale festival
with a fashion show and carnival games
- and she helps her students
get excited about reading and improve their grades
Even after all that, her principal
complains that sheís not doing a good job! And thatís not all.
Lots of tough things happen throughout the school year...
- One of her books is stolen,
and she has to lock away her library.
- The school bus gets converged
upon by gang members during a field trip.
- And she feels responsible
when she gets parents involved in classroom discipline issues and her students
get beaten at home.
She does have many opportunities
to teach the kids real life lessons though.
Let me read you one of my
Read January 12 on pg 88.
Madame Esme sticks to her
deal and Billy teaches the class for a whole day. To find out how
Billy does as teacher and maybe get an idea of how you might do as teacher
too, read Educating Esme By Esme Raji Codell. (Stella Shafer,
MLIS student, University of Washington)