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. What is JoEllen's Native American name, as given to her in a naming ceremony?

2. How does Codell respond to Billy Williams when the boy claims that he hates her?

3. On September 27, what book is read that inspires Ashworth to reveal his missing digit to the class?

4. Why does Codell organize a field trip to the university science fair on October 13?

5. How does Ruben show his affectionate crush for Codell?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Codell's experience with the teachers union representative.

2. How is the "time machine" built?

3. Why does Codell take B. B. and his little sister in to her home for a night?

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

5. How is the learning environment different at Codell's new school, versus the students described in the journal?

6. How does Codell deal with Melanie's problem with stealing?

7. What is the nature of the fight between Shira and Twanette on September 30?

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

9. Describe Ismene, including her appearance and personality.

10. Describe Miss Clark's attempt to teach Codell's kids on January 11.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

At the end of the epilogue, Codell states: "Everything [my students] become, I also become. And everything about me, they helped to create." Dissect and explain this enigmatic statement. What implications does this have for the teaching process as well as the learning process? How might such a statement help to explain Codell's larger philosophy about the correct way to teach?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Jim Trelease in his Afterword calls Codell "always child-wise." What does he mean by this statement? Cite specific examples in the text to confirm this assertion.

(see the answer keys)

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