When Scout's new teacher, Miss Caroline, found out that the little girl could read, she was appalled. She told Scout to stop reading nightly with her father. Later that evening, Atticus asked Scout if she was ready to read with him. She was hesitant because of her teacher's command.
Scout told Atticus that she was feeling ill and wished not to return to school. She asked him to teach her at home. Atticus had been educated at home, and so had his brother. They had gone on to be a doctor and a lawyer. Atticus refused to teach her at home. With hesitation, Scout told her father what had happened at school.
Not only had Miss Caroline told Scout to stop reading, but she also punished her for explaining why the Cunninghams do not borrow money. Instead of being upset with Miss Caroline, Atticus asked Scout to be understanding:
"First of all," he said, "if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... until you climb into his skin and walk around in it" (To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 3).
Atticus also told Scout that Miss Caroline had learned some lessons herself. She had learned not to offer a loan of money to a Cunningham, not even a quarter. Atticus wanted his daughter to show empathy to others.