Chapter 2 of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird is set in the Maycomb school. In this chapter, Scout attends school for the first time, where she meets her teacher, Caroline Fisher. Scout describes her as having "bright auburn hair and pink cheeks" and looking like and smelling like "a peppermint drop." Most of the children in the classroom, on the other hand, are "ragged, denim-shirted and floursack-skirted." The children in Maycomb are largely from poor farming families, and Ms. Caroline, an outsider, doesn't really understand them.
Ms. Caroline tells Scout that her father, Atticus, should not teach her to read, as it interferes with her learning. Ms. Caroline doesn't understand that Scout has picked up reading naturally. Ms. Caroline also tells Walter Cunningham that he can borrow a quarter for lunch and pay her back tomorrow, not understanding that Walter comes from a very poor family and could never pay her back. When Scout attempts to explain the situation to Miss Caroline, the teacher slaps her with a ruler. In this chapter, Scout interacts with the larger Maycomb community and realizes that she doesn't always understand the world around her.