Give an account of Scout's first day at school and explain in what ways it was an ordeal for Miss Caroline Fisher, too.In Harper Lee's 'To Kill a Mockigbird.'
That first day of school was a culture shock of sorts for both Scout Finch and Miss Caroline Fisher. This was new ground for both, but especially for Miss Fisher, a faily inexperienced teacher in a social situation which took her by surprise. Scout at least already knew her classmates and their backgrounds whereas Miss Fisher was not at all prepared for the extreme divergence of social class in the classroom. From "cooties" crawling out of hair to lunch money Walter Cunningham couldn't accept, Miss Caroline was caught off guard and lacked the social poise and flexibility to "rolll with the punches."
What she did come prepared to do was undermined in value when she learned Scout already knew how to read. Too young and even immature to keep a professional distance, Miss Caroline felt threatened as if it were her "fault" that she couldn't perform and meet up to her own expectations. Instead, there she stood, evidently a greenhorn across the board. When Scout tries to explain things, this only reinforces her insecurity and Miss Caroline "punishes" Scout in return. Finally, if Scout learned something about tolerance that day (thanks to a debriefing that evening with Atticus), the lesson seems to be lost on Miss Caroline.
Burris Ewell probably represented the biggest ordeal for Miss Caroline Fisher on the first day of school. The Ewells are the poorest family in town, and Burris reflects their ignorance: He tells Miss Fisher that he hadn't "planned on staying" anyway, just before calling her a slut and insulting her prior to his permanent departure.
The students explain to Miss Caroline that the Ewells had only shown up to the first day of school for as long as anyone could remember, and that she was to mark them absent for the rest of the year. The "truant lady" never bothered going out to the Ewells' to fetch any of the kids after the first day of school, as no one had high expectations of any of them.
Miss Caroline also has to learn about the proud poverty of the Cunninghams, as Walter refuses the quarter offered to buy him lunch. Scout serves as witness to all these lessons, as she is our narrator while also being a character.