Summarize the pertinent thematic elements of To Sir, with Love.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Braithwaite's work is about his first year teaching experience.  It focuses on the successful and talented Braithwaite, who is forced to enter teaching after being turned down from so many positions.  In moving into the teaching realm, he is assigned to the worst students.  It is here where the narrative develops in terms of Braithwaite's evolution as teacher and advocate for his students.  The exploration of this process helps to form the major theme of the narrative in terms of validating the teaching profession.  Braithwaite's work does not romanticize teaching, but it does bring to light the potential for intangible rewards in it.  The narrative does not glorify children, but rather brings to light the power in being there for a child and a child knowing that a teacher is there for them when others might not be.  There is a power at the end of the story that comes from both Braithwaite's commitment to teaching and willingness to see it through regardless of the difficulty.  When experiencing this, one of the major themes present is the perseverance of human beings in the face of overwhelming odds.  In this, the final element of the narrative emerges.

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