Synopses & Reviews
"A pop culture phenomenon" (Publishers Weekly
"Screaming funny" (Booklist)
"Funny, poignant, and even sad. You'll find yourself laughing at places, ready to cry at others." (The Arizona Republic)
"It should be read by anyone who's interested in the future of public education." (Boston Phoenix Literary Section)
"Esme is a teacher I'd hire tomorrow. There is nothing the profession needs more than such creative intelligent, combative, and loving teachers." ( Herbert Kohl, author of 36 Children)
Esme Raji Codell has come to teach. Fresh-mouthed and miniskirted, this irrepressible spirit does the cha-cha during multiplication lessons, roller-skates down the hallways, and puts on rousing performances with at-risk students in the library. In Educating Esme, the diary of her first year teaching in a Chicago public school, she opens a window into a real-life classroom. While battling bureaucrats, gang members, abusive parents, and her own insecurities, this gifted teacher changes her student's lives forever.
Winner, Memoir of the Year, ForeWord magazine
Winner, Alex Award for Outstanding Book for Young Adult Readers
There aren't too many teachers who are written about in the New Yorker, People, Entertainment Weekly, Elle, and excerpted in Reader's Digest. But Esme Raji Codell is no ordinary teacher. An irrepressible spirit, she wears costumes in the classroom, dances with the kids during math lessons, rollerskates down the hallways, and puts on rousing performances with at-risk students in the library.
In Educating Esme, the uncensored diary of her first year teaching in a Chicago public school, she opens a window into the closed world of a real-life classroom. Refusing to let anything get in the way of delivering the education her fifth-graders deserve, this dedicated teacher finds herself battling bureaucrats, gang members, inflexible administrators, angry children, and her own insecurities, while at the same time changing her students' lives forever.
Now in paperback, here is the book People called hilarious, Booklist called screamingly funny, Greensboro News & Record called brilliantly conceived, and the Boston Phoenix noted should be read by anyone who's interested in the future of public education.
With over 50,000 copies sold in hardcover, this "pop culture phenomenon" ("Publishers Weekly") is now available in paperback. "Educating Esme" is the uncensored diary of Codell's first year teaching in a Chicago public school.
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.
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.
About the Author
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 PlanetEsme.com and the unique literary salon, the PlanetEsme Bookroom.