Educated by Esme?

Posted on February 24, 2010


I just finished reading Esme Raji Codell’s account of her first year of teaching, Educating Esme.  I enjoyed it, but I didn’t find it “a pop culture phenomenon” or “screamingly funny”, as the blurbs stated.

Perhaps I’ve been teaching too long; I wasn’t surprised at the horrid treatment she received from her administration.  Nor by the horrendous home lives of her students.  I’ve seen too much of it myself.

I was offended by her desire to be a librarian, so she could read aloud all day.  I certainly hope her point of view of a librarian’s job changed after she became a media specialist.  While I do a great deal of storytelling, it is only  two hours out of forty I work every week.  There is so much more to my job than that, as much as I love it.

I’m also disappointed that she is no longer in the classroom, but is now a “children’s literature specialist.”  Just exactly what is a children’s literature specialist?  Isn’t that what all of us elementary media specialists and teachers already are?

Perhaps I’m in the wrong audience.  For parents, this book appears to be eye-opening.  I do remember thinking when I worked in a public middle school that may parents had absolutely no idea of what went on in their children’s school lives.

Parents – this is a great book to read to get an idea of what it’s actually like to teach in a public school.  For all but beginning teachers, don’t bother.  You’ve already lived it.

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