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

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

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

4. What container does Codell create to allow students to symbolically rid themselves of worries?

5. Why does Codell take her students outside for a field trip on January 7th?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the significance of the blue, pink, and gold sari Codell receives?

2. What does Codell think of the numerous speeches at the graduation?

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

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

5. Describe the last day of school.

6. Briefly describe the day when Billy Williams becomes teacher for a day.

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

8. How is the "time machine" built?

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

10. What is Codell's philosophy about bad behavior, in respect to an incident with B. B.?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What does the Miss Clark incident as well as the stabbing of the substitute teacher incident reveal about the right and wrong way to behave as a teacher? How do these incidents validate Codell's own philosophy about how to behave in front of one's students?

Essay Topic 2

Is Codell emotionally involved with her students? Is "love" an appropriate term for Codell's relationship with her students? What might Codell say about the value (or danger) of a teacher's emotional attachment with his or her students? How might this attachment affect the learning process?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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