Educating Esme: Diary of a Teacher's First Year Setting & Symbolism

Esmé Raji Codell
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Chicago, Illinois

Codell teaches at a public elementary school in the heart of Chicago, Illinois. It is in a poor, crime-ridden area, and Codell must contend with all the challenges of the inner city.

Fairy Tale Festival

Early on, Codell proposes a Fairy Tale Festival, a schoolwide event complete with carnival games and a fashion show. Codell's proposal is rejected by administrators, who dismiss it as too ambitious.

Columbus Comic Book

Codell is dismayed when someone steals a Columbus comic book from her personal classroom library. She responds by denying access to her library. Days after, the comic book is anonymously returned.

The Time Machine

Codell fashions a "time machine" from a refrigerator cardboard box and some decorative ornaments. She has her students sit in the box. Inside are history books. Students then "travel back in time," reading the books to better understand history. The children buy into...

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This section contains 427 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Educating Esme: Diary of a Teacher's First Year Study Guide
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