Inside Out and Back Again

by

Thanhhà Lai

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Inside Out and Back Again can help.

MiSSS SScott Character Analysis

MiSSS SScott is ’s fourth-grade teacher in Alabama. Hà dislikes MiSSS SScott from the start, as MiSSS SScott doesn’t seem impressed that Hà so carefully pronounces the s sounds in the teacher’s name—and she doesn’t understand that Hà’s name is pronounced differently than “ha-ha” laughter. MiSSS SScott also treats Hà like Hà is wholly uneducated, when really, Hà was almost at the top of her class in Vietnam and just can’t communicate in English how much she knows. It also bothers Hà when MiSSS SScott talks to the class about Vietnam and shows them pictures of naked, burning girls and emaciated refugees trying to escape the country, rather than happy pictures of Tet celebrations or papayas.

MiSSS SScott Quotes in Inside Out and Back Again

The Inside Out and Back Again quotes below are all either spoken by MiSSS SScott or refer to MiSSS SScott. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
War, Childhood, and Maturity Theme Icon
).
Part 3: Alabama Quotes

I tap my own chest:
.

She must have heard
ha,
as in funny ha-ha-ha.

She fakes a laugh.

I repeat, ,
and wish I knew
enough English
to tell her
to listen for
the diacritical mark,
this one directing
the tone
downward.

Related Characters: Kim Hà (speaker), MiSSS SScott
Page Number: 140-41
Explanation and Analysis:

I’m furious,
unable to explain
I already learned
fractions
and how to purify
river water.

So this is
what dumb
feels like.

I hate, hate, hate it.

Related Characters: Kim Hà (speaker), MiSSS SScott
Page Number: 157
Explanation and Analysis:

Things will get better,
just you wait.

I don’t believe her
but it feels good
that someone knows.

Related Characters: MiSSSisss WaSShington (speaker), Kim Hà (speaker), MiSSS SScott
Page Number: 182
Explanation and Analysis:

No one would believe me
but at times
I would choose
wartime in Saigon
over
peacetime in Alabama.

Related Characters: Kim Hà (speaker), MiSSS SScott
Page Number: 194-95
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Inside Out and Back Again LitChart as a printable PDF.
Inside Out and Back Again PDF

MiSSS SScott Character Timeline in Inside Out and Back Again

The timeline below shows where the character MiSSS SScott appears in Inside Out and Back Again. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 3: Alabama
Immigration, Culture Shock, and Belonging Theme Icon
Culture, Food, and Tradition Theme Icon
Bullying, Racism, and Self-Doubt Theme Icon
...and taking deep breaths. She’s the first student there. The teacher loudly introduces herself as MiSSS SScott . When Hà repeats the name, enunciating each s, the teacher doesn’t seem impressed. Hà... (full context)
Immigration, Culture Shock, and Belonging Theme Icon
Bullying, Racism, and Self-Doubt Theme Icon
Rainbow. Hà stands in front of the class while MiSSS SScott speaks. Each student says something, but Hà doesn’t understand. She studies her classmates: some have... (full context)
Immigration, Culture Shock, and Belonging Theme Icon
Bullying, Racism, and Self-Doubt Theme Icon
Feel Dumb. MiSSS SScott points to Hà and then to the English alphabet. Hà recites the alphabet, and then... (full context)
Immigration, Culture Shock, and Belonging Theme Icon
Family and Grief Theme Icon
Culture, Food, and Tradition Theme Icon
Bullying, Racism, and Self-Doubt Theme Icon
Most Relieved Day. Hà stays in class during lunch the next day, and MiSSS SScott only nods. This is too easy. Inside Hà’s bag is a sandwich, an apple, salty... (full context)
Bullying, Racism, and Self-Doubt Theme Icon
...the horrified looks from Pem and SSsì-Ti-Vân. Pink Boy’s pink face is now bright red. MiSSS SScott pushes Hà back toward her seat and Pem takes Hà’s hand. Pem’s hand is trembling.... (full context)
War, Childhood, and Maturity Theme Icon
Immigration, Culture Shock, and Belonging Theme Icon
Culture, Food, and Tradition Theme Icon
Bullying, Racism, and Self-Doubt Theme Icon
War and Peace. At the end of October, MiSSS SScott shows photographs of a naked girl with burns running on a dirt road. There are... (full context)
War, Childhood, and Maturity Theme Icon
Immigration, Culture Shock, and Belonging Theme Icon
Culture, Food, and Tradition Theme Icon
Bullying, Racism, and Self-Doubt Theme Icon
Boo-Da, Boo-Da. Today, MiSSS SScott shows maps and photographs of Vietnam. This time, she shows landscape photos and one of... (full context)