A few weekends ago there was a bookfest at a church down the road from me. I convinced my housemates to go with me even though they aren’t big readers. There were so many books, though half of them were rather uninteresting (like the complete history of bathroom cleaning or things like that). I however came away with three good books, one of which was ‘To Sir, With Love’. Most people of my mother’s generation had to read this book in school, I didn’t and after reading it was disappointed that is wasn’t on our English class list. It only took me two days to read it but afterwards it is something I will keep with me for longer.
Mr Braithwaite is a Negro (term from the book) with a good education and skills and yet he is turned away from every job that he applies for. Feeling isolated and resentful to the rest of the British population he finds solitude in a local park. In this park with the help of a stranger, Braithwaite is put on the path of teaching. Through the difference between him and his students, he overcomes his annoyance at society and the students develop into tolerant, well mannered, young adults.
While reading this book I had the feeling I had heard this story somewhere before. After much thinking it finally came to me. Not that long ago I had watched ‘Gangster Paradise’ with Michelle Pfeiffer. The story is a bit different but the theme is the same. Schooling and dedicated teachers provide the life lessons for young people about to enter society.
What I really liked about this book is that although it was written in 1959 and is a simple story it has a strong message. I think young people should read this book and take the morals provided in the story with them into life. It is still as relevant today as it was back in the 1950’s. In the end I felt very appreciative of my education and the teachers that provided it. Without education I wouldn’t be the well adjusted, well read person I am today. Thank-you to the over worked under appreciate teachers. Without you our world would be very different.