Esme Raji Codell (Madame Esme to her students) sweeps into her first teaching job in Chicago''s inner city like a whirlwind. With eccentric clothes, unorthodox and imaginitive methods, and amazing personal strength she inspires her students, making learning fun for them rather than the drudgery that they have experienced in other classrooms. Esme writes not only of her own and her students'' victories and epiphanies, but also of her frustrations at being an agent of change in an exceptionally staid and bureaucratic environment. Codell''s subsequent kids'' fiction book SAHARA SPECIAL is a great companion piece to EDUCATING ESME: it''s written from the point-of-view of someone who could have been one of Esme''s students. EDUCATING ESME is a superb memoirm and essential reading for anyone who has ever been inspired by a teacher. It''s a must-read for all education students, student teachers, established teachers -- regardless of how long they''ve been teaching -- and anyone who is even considering a career as an educator.
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