We all have a lot to learn from the diary of a teacher named Esmé Raji Codell, an educator who has struggled to maintain individuality in the face of bureaucracy and whose defiant stand against mediocrity will reverberate in companies as well as classrooms everywhere.
"Excellent inspiration for educators...."
Esme tells us about the night she and her mother became "egg vigilantes" against an illegally parked car; her freewheeling first school, where kids sat on sofas instead of at desks and could choose disco dancing instead of math; her dangerous neighborhood, which her father made seem friendly and wondrous; the Passover dinner when she stole a matzoh right out from under a rabbi; the awe-inspiring, life-threatening Chicago snowstorms; and lessons about love from tea-reading gypsies and Popeye cartoons.
This is the diary of Esme Raji Codell, a first-year teacher at a Chicago public school. Codell describes the frustrations - incompetent administrators, abusive parents, gang members and, at times, her own insecurities - she encountered when she began her teaching career in this inner-city school and the unique ways she approached them. As Codell puts it, she has "Thirty-one children. Thirty-one chances. Thirty-one futures, our futures. Everything they become, I also become."