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. Whose mother complains about Codell insisting on buying dictionaries for the children?

2. Where does Codell take her students on January 20?

3. What name does Codell choose for her students to call her?

4. What does Codell tell Mr. Turner about why he did not receive her classroom's inaugural newsletter?

5. Codell insists Mr. Turner refer to her by what title?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Ismene, including her appearance and personality.

2. What is Codell's attitude toward teaching sexual education?

3. Why does Jim Trelease in the Afterword bring up a governor and a chairman of the State Board of Education?

4. What is Codell's experience in proctoring another class for a standardized test?

5. What is Vanessa's problem with the Christmas assembly, and how does she overcome it?

6. What February 15 incident nearly results in Codell quitting the school?

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

8. Why does Codell resent the "educational chiropractor" brought in by Mr. Turner?

9. How does Ms. Federman convince Codell to remain a teacher at the school on February 15?

10. Why is Codell relieved when she refrains from yelling at Latoya for continually coming in late one week?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following 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

Codell's insistence on being called "Madame Esme" is a constant sore spot for her principal Mr. Turner. What reasons does Codell provide for being stubborn on this point? How does this matter relate in a broader sense to Codell's personality and attitude as revealed in her writing?

Essay Topic 3

In a few places in the text, Codell speaks of why she's doing what she's doing, and what reward, literally or figurative, she is receiving for her work.

1)Describe two times in the text that Codell has felt "rewarded" in her work.

2)What is the nature of this "reward"? How does this relate to a teacher's purpose in general?

3)What might be considered Codell's ultimate reward, to her mind? In a perfect world, what kind of satisfaction would she be receiving from her work, and what form would it take?

(see the answer keys)

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