Esme Raji Codell has come to teach. And she's not going to let incompetent administrators, abusive parents, gang members, weary teachers, angry children, dim-witted principals, or her own insecurities get in the way of delivering the education her fifth-grade students deserve. Fresh-mouthed and miniskirted, Esme can be both pig-headed and generous, churlish and charming. As she embarks on her first year teaching in an inner-city public school, she quickly becomes a thorn in her principal's side. A twenty-four-year-old teacher with the enthusiasm of a ten year old, Esme is too willful to play bureaucratic politics, too dedicated to give up -- and too young to know better. In Educating Esme, the uncensored diary of her first year, we find this irrepressible teacher wearing costumes in the classroom, dancing with the kids during rallies in the auditorium, roller-skating down the hallways, and putting on rousing performances with students in the library.