Part I: Pages 1 through 20* Esme Codell, at age 24, has begun work at a new public school under Mr. Turner. * For now, Codell must tolerate mundane administrative tasks instead of teaching. * Mr. Turner is vain and insufferable, and Codell frequently butts heads with him. * Codell's proposal for a "Fairy Tale Festival" is met with derision from the administrative bureaucracy. * Codell's teaching mentor was Ismene Siteles, a stern but supportive teacher who recently died.
Part I: Pages 20 through 45* Codell begins her first day as a fifth-grade teacher at the new school. * The large majority of her students are black, with five Mexicans, one Pakistani, and one Philippina. * Codell institutes several innovative teaching methods, like making a "Trouble Basket" for kids to put their troubles in, and calling Math "Puzzling" so kids aren't intimidated by the subject. * A Columbus comic book is stolen, but is soon anonymously returned. * Codell is horrified...
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