The more things change …

I am teaching To Kill a Mockingbird in my Pre-AP English II classes. In the second chapter, Scout goes to school for the first time. Her teacher — an earnest, attractive young woman who might be all of 21 years oldĀ — scolds her because she already knows how to read and write. Scout’s literacy is problematic for the teacher because it did not come about as a result of the one-size-fits-all method that the teacher’s college professors told her to use.

The novel is set in 1935.

You can imagine how hard I laughed when I read that scene and suddenly realized that Harper Lee’s description of a young teacher in 1935 was virtually identical to my experiences with 21st-century educational consultants.

Emily

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