Educating Esme: Diary of a Teacher's First Year Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Esmé Raji Codell
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. On the first day of school, how does Codell determine where the students will sit?

2. What occurs on the bus ride to the university science fair on October 13?

3. What theme does Codell choose for her students for their Christmas assembly?

4. How does Melanie react to the birthday party Codell throws for her on January 8th?

5. Who does Codell make her "time machine" out of?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Codell's rationale for insisting her students call her Madame Esme?

2. As revealed at the end of Part II, what is Codell's ultimate career aspiration?

3. What is Codell's opinion of the teaching education she received?

4. Describe the first time the "time machine" is used.

5. What is the nature of the struggle between Codell and Mr. Turner in Part I in regards to Codell's proper form of address?

6. Describe Ismene, including her appearance and personality.

7. What reasons does Trelease give in the Afterword for his contention that Educating Esme is "terribly relevant"?

8. What is Codell's approach to teaching about the Holocaust and Nazis?

9. What are Codell's impressions about her former students graduating from middle school?

10. What dictates what songs Codell hears in her mind throughout the day according to the April 11 entry?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Describe the tone of EDUCATING ESME. What does Codell wish for readers to take away from her journal? How is any discussion of tone complicated by the fact that, presumably, Codell was writing a private journal and did not expect her entries to be read by anyone else?

Essay Topic 2

A fellow teacher at Codell's school states that the modern teacher must not only be a teacher, but oftentimes a mother, a counselor, and more. State Codell's own attitude in regards to a teacher's enlarging role in a child's life. What might be the advantages to a child when a teacher is more than a teacher? What might be the advantages to a child when a teacher stays strictly to teaching?

Essay Topic 3

Codell's own ambition plays a key role in the text.

1)How does ambition guide Codell's teaching philosophy, and the choices she makes with her curriculum and teaching methods?

2)What does the Fairy Tale Festival proposal say about Codell's ambition? Is Codell's ambition rewarded or punished?

3)At the end of the Epilogue, Codell agrees with adage that "Those who can't do, teach." How does Codell relate this statement to her own ambition? In the end, how has Codell's ambition affected her career, and the degree of success she's had?

(see the answer keys)

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