Describe the appearance and behavior of Scout's first grade teacher in To Kill a Mockingbird.

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mlsldy3 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Scout has a hard time on her first day of school. She was so excited about starting school, but when she has her first day, she decides that she doesn't want to go back. Scout and her teacher clash right away. Miss. Caroline Fisher was the new first grade teacher. She had her own ideas on how to teach. She tells Scout that Atticus can't teach her anymore and that it is her job to teach her. Scout describes her in the following way:

"Miss. Caroline was no more than twenty-one. She had bright auburn hair, pink cheeks, and wore crimson fingernail polish. She also wore high-heeled pumps and a red-and-white striped dress. She looked and smelled like a peppermint drop."

Miss. Caroline was from North Alabama in Winston County. She was new to Maybomb and didn't realize the way thins worked in a small town like this one. Scout tries to help her out by telling her the way things were in town, but Scout gets in trouble for doing so. The fact of the matter is that Miss. Caroline was really naive about things in Maycomb. She was a very young teacher and this was probably her first year teaching. She is thrown into a classroom full of rambunctious first graders. Scout was really trying to help Miss. Caroline out, but Miss. Caroline Fisher was going to have to learn some things on her own.

jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 2, Scout begins school and meets her first grade teacher, Miss Caroline Fisher. Miss Caroline is "not more than 21," and, with her auburn hair, pink cheeks, and red-and-white striped dress, she "looked and smelled like a peppermint drop."

Miss Caroline, who is from North Alabama, seems to have no idea about the children she is teaching. She begins by reading them a book about cats who speak, and she does not seem to notice, as Scout says, that the class is "immune to imaginative literature." She also tells Scout that she has to stop reading, as she doesn't believe that Scout just picked it up while sitting with Atticus. Miss Caroline believes that there is only one way to learn, and that Scout needs to learn the correct way to read from her. Jem incorrectly calls this method of teaching the "Dewey Decimal System," but he means that Miss Caroline is following the educational techniques of John Dewey. This form of education, progressive at the time To Kill a Mockingbird takes place, involves the students experiencing the curriculum rather than just being fed information. Miss Caroline, as an inexperienced teacher, takes Dewey's writings as gospel more than as a guide to working with children.

ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Miss Caroline Fisher," Scout's first-grade teacher who is a newcomer to Maycomb. She misunderstands the social order of Maycomb and punishes Scout for trying to explain it. She also comes into conflict with Scout because of the girl's reading ability.  Basically she is a new, naive, insensitive, simple minded teacher who thinks she knows it all. On page 22 Scout says, " Miss Caroline was no more than twenty-one. She had bright auburn hair, pink cheeks, and wore crimson fingernail polish. She also wore high-heeled pumps and a red-and-white-striped dress.  She looked and smelled like a peppermint drop." She was from "North Alabama, from Winston County."

zumba96 | Student

She is not more than 21 and has auburn hair. She had pink cheeks and crimson red nail polish and she wore high heels pumps and a red white striped dress. She also looked and smelled like a peppermint drop. She has an issue with Scout because Scout knows how to read and she believes that Scout should not know this already.