Despite Alfred Gardner's having challenged E. R. Braithwaite's version of events in his autobiography, An East End Story, To Sir With Love is still an inspiring work.
Even if somewhat fictionalized, biographies and autobiographies are among the most inspiring of literary works because they present a realistic potential for all readers. That is, they afford readers true incidents and experiences that generate ideas and approaches for developing them. This is the value of To Sir, With Love.
For instance, in Chapter 11 Braithwaite writes that his lessons were taking hold:
I tried to relate everything academic to familiar things in their daily lives.
Teachers who read this work discover ideas and approaches that they can employ, or modify for their use. For, in this work a dedicated teacher turns teen-age rebellion to productive use. The teens gain respect for their teacher, and they become eager to learn and express themselves.
This literary work is, in a sense, a sociological work that includes racial and class issues. Braithwaite's approach to these can still aid and inspire others who teach reluctant students.