I Am Awe Stricken By Madame Esme Raji Codell Essays

I Am Awe Stricken By Madame Esme Raji Codell Essays

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Every teacher’s worst nightmare – that is the setting to which Madame Esme Raji Codell stepped into as her first job fresh out of college. In this sink or swim world Esme, unknowingly, became a lifeguard to thirty one youngsters, as she seemed the only one who could protect the children from the rough waters that are inner city Chicago. Through studying her very candid and personal diary, I am awe stricken by her extraordinary display of pedagogy as she exemplifies what it truly means to be a teacher. Esme’s proficiency in her dealings with situations surrounding equity, creating a safe, relaxed and positive classroom environment, expectations as a teacher, gender, diversity learning, multicultural competence and accommodation are, at times, straight out of a teacher’s workshop. Some might argue with her protocol, as she is both sharp-tongued and downright stubborn, but none can call to question her motive or incapacity for complacency.
I decided to take a chance and read Educating Esme: Diary of a Teacher’s First Year,
and was so surprised by what I read. I laughed, I oohed, I ahhed and most importantly of all, I learned. I connected with the book on so many different levels and I actually started recommending it to future, and current teachers! I was able to make so many connections to this class and was floored by her accomplishments in what is obviously a “rough” part of town. As I go through school and develop my personal teaching philosophy, I will keep this book in mind because I feel as though her personality and mine match up quite nicely. I hope that one day I will have half of the impact Madame Esme had on her students.
One of the most important things I pulled from this book was realizing that every child has th...


... middle of paper ...


...ncluding yourself and the teacher.
Esme dealt with many issues that affected her students’ growth needs. Most were not even getting the basic necessities for life. In one example she talks about a child in her class who had to bring her two year old baby sibling to class. She never asks why, but instead just takes the baby for the day. The majority of her students did not feel safe at home, many calling out for her at night. Every day though, she made sure to tell her students she loved them, regardless of what they did to her. More than anything, I learned the power of the “No-Matter- What- Principle,” because telling her students that she loved them, made all of the difference. She expected a lot of her students, when no one else did. I was inspired by this book, and hope that I can attempt to have the relationship and impact on my students as she did hers.

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