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 October 29th, Codell creates an after-school club with what focus?

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

3. Why do school administrators reject Codell's proposal for the Fairy Tale Festival?

4. How does the student Codell makes teacher for the day start the morning?

5. What does Codell notice about the new class of teachers that will be teaching along with her at the new school?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the theft of the Columbus comic book and its resolution.

2. Describe how Zykrecia resolves a conflict with Kyle on March 28.

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

4. What changes does Ms. Coil suggest in a January 18 entry, and what does Codell think of these suggestions?

5. What steps does Codell take to prepare her classroom for the first day of school?

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

7. What does Codell's class do to learn about Native Americans?

8. Who is Marky?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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?

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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