My teacher asked me to write Scout's first day of school from Miss Caroline's point of view in To Kill a Mockingbird.
When given an assignment such as this, it is important for the student to base the character's thoughts, responses and actions on what Harper Lee has already outlined. Therefore, the student will want to consider the following:
- This new teacher is an outsider; she is from Winston County in Northern Alabama. Winston County to this day remains notorious for having been sympathetic to the North in the Civil War. So, those who live south of Montgomery, the capital of the Confederacy, in Maycomb would feel not akin to her.
- Miss Caroline is not only new to Southern Alabama, she is also an idealist, embracing the latest teaching methods, such as the John Dewey system of pragmatism. Ironically, Dewey advocated critical thinking and questioning of authorities, but Miss Caroline punishes Scout for her independence.
- She does not know the histories of any of the families in Maycomb.
- A neighboring teacher comes in and complains of the noise.
- At the end of Chapter 2, Miss Caroline "sink[s] down into her chair and buries her head in her arm[s]."
Keeping these points in mind, then, the writing of Miss Caroline would include her disappointment in the way the day has gone for her; it would also include her fears of what she is going to do with the precocious Scout, whose father is an attorney, and her anxiety as to how well she will get along with the rest of the faculty. She is also amazed at the poverty of the children.
Here is a beginning for you:
I cannot believe how much these people have taught their children, whether it be from hatred or from neglect or love. That Scout Finch knows too much. Why, she can read and even write! On the other hand, that Burris Ewell is an abomination...so many others are, too. I will need to know them better.
Tomorrow I will act differently....I need to get along with this faculty....