In To Kill a Mockingbird, why is Miss Caroline Fisher a good or bad teacher?

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teachersage eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Scout begins school in the first grade, her teacher is Miss Caroline Fisher, who has "bright auburn hair, pink cheeks" and crimson nail polish. She is a poor teacher, mostly because she is inexperienced. Miss Fisher is young, no more than 21, and she shows her inexperience in two main ways. First, she expresses unhappiness that Scout already knows how to read. She tells Scout to let Atticus know not to teach her anymore. Miss Fisher believes she has to "undo the damage" of Scout's early reading experience. A more experienced teacher would value a student knowing how to read. She also doesn't believe Scout when she says that Atticus didn't teach her to read.

Second, Miss Fisher shows her inexperience by not understanding that she should not have offered Walter Cunningham a quarter when he said he forgot his lunch. When Scout tries to explain that Walter will never bring a lunch because he's too poor and that the Cunninghams will never accept charity, Miss Fisher thinks Scout is being a smart aleck and hits her hand with a ruler. 

Miss Fisher is also supposedly bringing new teaching methods into town. Atticus tells Scout she needs to go along with Miss Fisher and a reader might expect that if Miss Fisher becomes more experienced, her teaching could improve.