Customer Reviews for

Educating Esme: Diary of a Teacher's First Year

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted September 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Bridget's Review

    Have you ever wondered what it would be like to teach children for a living? I'm sure we've all taught at least one child one thing or another in our lifetime. Witnessing my nephew learning to do new things makes me so happy. He gets a big ole grin on his face and you can just see how proud he is of himself. He also whispers, "I did it!" and you can hear the pride in his voice. It is a wonderful thing, teaching a child. I couldn't imagine teaching a class of twenty kids and feeling a surge of emotion every time a child learned something new. At the same time, it would be extremely difficult to try to teach a child who doesn't understand what you say.

    When I first received an email about EDUCATING ESME, I knew that I had to read it. I've always been fascinated with education and still to this day, one of my goals is to learn at least one new thing a day. Even if it is something as simple as a new world. Knowledge truly is power and I actually have a craving for learning. Anyway, enough about me.

    Esme catalogs her experiences as a teacher in a diary her first year. She's the kind of teacher kids need growing up. She is an independent, no-nonsense, straight to the point, understanding person who truly wants to guide her students through the school year. She isn't your average teacher, she doesn't just want to teach these kids, she wants them to really learn. She's not satisfied with her students knowing 2+2=4. She wants them to understand why it equals 4 and how they can apply their knowledge in everyday life.

    Esme quickly learns that she has her work cut out for her. The good thing is, she knows just how to handle the situations placed in front of her. She's has a wild spirit and enjoys shocking the students as well as fellow teachers. Esme is known to roller-skate in the school hallways and dance during a math session. Not only do Esme have what it takes to reach these children, they also have what it takes to teach her a few lessons as well.

    A wonderful, uplifting read that will keep you doubled over with laughter.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 31, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I read this book waaaaaaaay back in high school when it first ca

    I read this book waaaaaaaay back in high school when it first came out in my teacher prep class. Madame Esme was touring and came to an event to speak. I met her and she even signed my copy!

    The book itself was wonderful and it gave you an incite as to what it would be like to teach at an intercity school (with a horrible principal too). I would highly recommend this book to anyone thinking about becoming a teacher. She had it rough, but she came out of her first year of teaching on TOP!

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  • Posted September 26, 2011

    Definitely entertaining!

    While some of Madame Esme's stories are almost unbelievable, this book is entertaining to say the least. I originally thought this would be helpful to me during my first year of teaching; however this seems to be meant more as entertainment than a memoir. It's definitely worth reading, but don't expect any stellar teaching advice or even any really useful information. It's mostly fluff.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2010

    Great for teachers!

    Very good and inspiring for future teachers. Esme is honest and that honesty is greatly appreciated!

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  • Posted August 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Esme Educating Us

    College Girl hopes to teach theater one day. I know how hard that first year is on a new teacher. So I was excited to have a chance to read Educating Esme-Diary of a Teacher's First Year.

    Esme Raji Codell kept a diary when she started her first class. In here she voices her fears, knowledge, excitement and accomplishments. More so Esme shows us how a class room works when you really want to make a difference. Her innovative lessons along with a stern loving heart touched children's lives in extraordinary ways.

    Educating Esme is now 10 years old with 200,000 copies sold and has been re-published with a tip guide for teachers and teachers-to-be. There is also honest advice and a teacher's shopping guide. The ALEX (from the American Library Association) Award was given to this book along with a first place from the Education Writers Association. This is not a text book, but a true story of a teacher growing and learning in her chosen field.

    Esme Codell is a nationally renowned advocate for literacy. She has launched Planet Esme to help others who work with children and literacy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2009

    Quick Read

    Great book with a lot of interesting ideas. The book reads very easily, and is humorous and thoughtful. Esme is a teacher who tests the boundaries of her school environment. She ruffles a few feathers, but betters her students in the process. This book is an excellent read for beginning and seasoned teachers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2008

    How a First Year Teacher Survives

    This book is a somewhat spiritual event. Esme is very open and frank about all her struggles in her first year of Teaching. She makes mistakes but she honestly wants to be the best teacher she can be! I think every first year teacher should read this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2006

    Educating Esme: Diary of a Teacher's First Year

    Educating Esmé by Esmé Raji Codell is a diary of her first year teaching fifth grade in a Chicago public school. It is written in journal form and describes her trials and tribulations while teaching. The book describes how Esmé handles parents, disciplining students, and unruly principals. It explains her thoughts and feelings as teacher as well as her teaching style and her classroom. The book gives inside to a first year teacher¿s life and explains the ups and downs of it. She is a creative teacher who loves to make a difference in her students¿ lives, no matter how hard it is. She loves finding new ways to teach just like when she made the time machine for teh students to read in. In this book I like how she explains exactly how teaching is. Esmé explains both the good and bad times and how she handles them. She is able to be successful and enjoy teaching for the love of the students instead of just a job. I also like how she makes teaching fun and creative. She involves the students and makes them work hard and enjoy going to her class. She has great ideas and is very inspiring. She is also able to make the book humorous and enjoyable to read. I did not like how the book is written in journal form because it makes the book choppy. There is not much flow but it¿s easy to understand her life. Anyone who is a teacher or planning on becoming a teacher should read this book. Overall, I liked this book and it was fun to read. It gave great inside into teaching in a public school and all the events teachers incorporate.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2006

    Educating Esme: Diary of a Teacher's First Year

    Educating Esmé by Esmé Raji Codell is a diary of her first year teaching fifth grade in a Chicago public school. It is written in journal form and describes her trials and tribulations while teaching. The book describes how Esmé handles parents, disciplining students, and unruly principals. It explains her thoughts and feelings as teacher as well as her teaching style and her classroom. The book gives inside to a first year teacher¿s life and explains the ups and downs of it. She is a creative teacher who loves to make a difference in her students¿ lives, no matter how hard it is. She loves finding new ways to teach, just like when she made the time machine for the students to read in. In this book I like how she explains exactly how teaching is. Esmé explains both the good and bad times and how she handles them. She is able to be successful and enjoy teaching for the love of the students instead of just a job. I also like how she makes teaching fun and creative. She involves the students and makes them work hard and enjoy going to her class. She has great ideas and is very inspiring. She is also able to make the book humorous and enjoyable to read. I did not like how the book is written in journal form because it makes the book choppy. There is not much flow but it¿s easy to understand her life. Anyone who is a teacher or planning on becoming a teacher should read this book. Overall, I liked this book and it was fun to read. It gave great inside into teaching in a public school and all the events teachers incorporate.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2005

    amazing teacher..must read for all teachers

    Esme is an amazing teacher. If only all teachers could have the drive that she does. This is a very good book. It was very funny and touching. The epilogue had me in tears, literally. I would read it again, and recommended it to all future and practicing teachers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2004

    A Must Read For New Teachers!

    'Educating Esme': Diary of a Teacher's First Year is a compelling, compassionate read. It also has a special place for those whom society calls disadvantaged. I am a 25 year veteran of teaching in the public schools and this book reads as true as UP THE DOWN STAIRCASE or GOODBYE MR. CHIPS...I very highly recommend that young people going into education as a career read this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2004

    Good, but not GREAT!

    Educating Esmé by Esmé Raji Codell is a diary of the author¿s trials and tribulations during her first year teaching. She learns that sometimes everyone doesn¿t like ¿her¿ way of doing things in this inner city Chicago school. She never gives up though, due to her extraordinary will to succeed. Madame Esmé, as she likes to be called, talks as though she is the only teacher in the school. She writes about being the only one in her school that really cares about the students, and she is the lone one who tries to connect with them. This book was good, but not great. I wouldn¿t read it again, and I would only recommend it to someone going into teaching. I believe that I wasn¿t too interested in it merely because I¿m not into teaching. This book is full of details, but none seem to go anywhere. Nothing eventful happens in this book that makes readers want to keep going to find out what happens next; every event is predictable. Overall, I enjoyed the reading experience, but would not read this book again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2003

    Educating Esmé

    Educating Esmé is an excellent book about first year teacher Esmé Codell. Esmé is teaching in a school in inner city Chicago. The book is written in a journal form, with daily entries. Esmé writes in this journal throughout the year discussing triumphs and failures. She describes her thoughts and feelings, the way her classroom is set up, activities she does in her classroom and outside the classroom, her unique teaching style, problems she has with the principal, Mr. Turner, and the students she taught. It is clear through Esmé vivid descriptions that she is a very unique and creative teacher who has a wonderful ability of reaching the students, even if it means upsetting other teachers or Mr. Turner. Esmé does what she wants to do, but with a purpose. Her insight into teaching and some of her ideas can be very useful for future and current educators. Educating Esmé is a great book that once you start to read, you can not wait to find out what kind of crazy thing is going to happen next. Esmé¿s connection with her students and her creativity are incredibly inspiring. The school system would be an incredibly interesting place if more teachers were like Esmé Codell.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2003

    hilarious but touching

    Educating Esme is a wonderful book about an eccentric teacher at a public school in Chicago. The book would be interesting to all, not just teachers and soon-to-be teachers. Teachers to get creative ideas of things to use in their own classroom can use the book. She is very creative and does special things in her classroom for the children. She has a lot of inviting decorations and activities for the kids to do. She is very firm and consistent in her teaching style. She also shows the problems involved with teachers, like dealing with parents, undisciplined children and unruly principals. The book is written in diary form, which gives the reader a better day-to-day recount than, if it was reflected on at the end of the year. The book is rather humorous and you can follow her ups and downs throughout the first year. It is a good read for anybody to see into the live of a rookie teacher.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2003

    Inspirational! A must have for any inspiring teacher!

    My friend recommended this book to me. We are both in the elementary education program in college and she told me I HAD to read this book. I finished it within the day! It was so inspirational! It gives you a real-life look into teaching and how being creative and a little different can go a long way. It also outlines just how hard it can be and how she was able to overcome a lot of obstacles. She had so many amazing accomplishments just in her first year. It really makes me excited to go into teaching. I really took away a lot of good ideas/advise from this book that I will incorporate into my own class.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2003

    Great

    This is honestly one of the best books I've ever read. It makes sense. Defenitely worth reading. I finished it in one day and can't wait to own it for good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2002

    Inspiring must have for parents, teachers, and soon to be teachers

    I read this book for a sociocultual issues class in education. It was amazing and more than an inspiring read. I highlighted all over the book and I plan to implement much of it when I am a teacher. It reassured me that teaching at-risk children is what I want to do. I just wish Esme could make a whole book about what she has been doing since, I know she had a baby and I think has become a principal (but I am not sure). She has a great website for the book too, type in Educating Esme in your search browser. After I finished the book I went exploring all over the internet to learn more about Esme, and this website is great!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2002

    FUNNY BOOK

    This is a funny journal about a young teacher's first year in the classroom. While some of her student's lives are tragic, Esme's anecdotes are amusing. I laughed out loud in parts of this. I will recommend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2002

    Inspiring

    As a fristyear student just starting my journey to become a teacher, this book was truly inspiring. It is one of those books that you pick up and just can't put it down! Esme did great activities with her students that truly inspired me. My favorite part was how she made up different names for the subjects: like she called math puzzling. Also, I love the idea of the time machine. I highly reccomed this book to anyone!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2002

    empowers teachers to strive for excellence

    This is the kind of book that you pick up and read cover to cover. Although it is written in a novel like format, it has tips that could be used in your classroom. Its funny, shocking, and gives you a feeling of 'I want to be a teacher just like her.' Basically, it helps you feel empowered while also being entertaining.

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