Educating Esme: Diary of a Teacher's First Year Discussion Questions

Instructor: Grace Pisano

Grace has a bachelor's degree in history and a master's degree in teaching. She previously taught high school in several states around the country.

After reading 'Educating Esme' with your post-secondary students or teacher professional development, use the following discussion questions to help students apply the concepts from the book to their own lives.

Educating Esme: Diary of a Teacher's First Year

Whether you are reading Educating Esme: Diary of a Teacher's First Year with your colleagues, a group of preservice teachers or as a parent, there is a lesson for you in the book. In her personal narrative, Esme Codell describes her experiences as a first-year teacher in an elementary school in Chicago. After reading the book, use these questions to foster discussion and think critically about the book.

If you are considering reading this book with your students or staff members, please note that there is use of vulgar language throughout the book.

Thinking Critically about the Plot

  • How does Esme change from the beginning of the school year to the end? What advice do you think Esme on the last day of school would give to the Esme of the first day of school?
  • What do you think Esme's goal was in writing the book?
  • What did you know about the Chicago Public School System going into this book? What did you learn?
  • Why did Esme want to become a teacher? What was her attitude on the first day of school?
  • What is the tone of the book? How does the author share her unique personality in the way she writes the book?
  • What is Esme's stance on discipline in the classroom? How does it differ from the mainstream philosophy? How successful is it?
  • Describe the relationship between Esme and her principal, Mr. Turner. What was the lowest point in their relationship? The highest? Why do you think Esme struggles against him so much?
  • Describe the incident that happened between one of Esme's students and the substitute teacher. What happened? How did Esme react? What did you think about the discipline route that she chose?

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support