Book Review of Educating Esme

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Vanessa Greer
March 25, 2011
Book Review
Spring2011-EDF1005-Intro Education-339283

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

The book I chose was Educating Esme: Diary of a Teacher’s First Year by Esme Raji Codell. I chose this book because I honestly judged it from the title on the book review assignment page and found this to possibly be something that might help me in my journey into becoming a teacher. I found this book to very amusing and very touching. I thought that Esme's attitude and writing style was funny and easy to read and understand. One of my favorite stories in the book is the one when Esme made Billy Williams teach the class for a day because he was misbehaving. Esme threatened suspension to Billy for cursing and being disrespectful, so he accepted the punishment of teaching the class for the day instead of suspension. I thought it was great that he was able to mimic and recite specific lines that Esme used even though he didn’t always seem to be paying attention, something that I see in my own son when one of his friends does something wrong in our house. Esme was also able to assume the position as a student, which was interesting and possibly something that I might use myself someday in my own classroom. The fact that this strategy to calm down Billy actually worked is impressive. Another one of my favorite stories is how she helped her students get some extra help with their alphabet by setting up an Alphabet Museum and presenting it to the kindergarteners. It is scenarios like this that gives me ideas for how life might be like in my classrooms someday and gives me ideas on how to set up m classroom and deal with unexpected problems like this.

Esme was able to create a lively yet controllable learning environment in her classroom. She did this by being stern yet caring involving herself in the lives of the students. Each morning, as the children arrive to the classroom, they must individually say...
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