What are the qualities of Mr.Braithwaite in To Sir, with Love?
I think that the previous post did a very strong job in articulating Mr. Braithwaite's background. I would only add that I think one of Mr. Braithwaite's personal qualities is what makes him an effective teacher. He is willing to be flexible in understanding the needs of his students and what he can do to be more effective in the classroom setting. He is able to adapt what he is doing, reflect on its effectiveness, and develop new approaches to working with his students without sacrificing his core vision of beliefs. This is reflected in how he decides to scrap his curriculum and start new with the students, how he takes over the PE classes, and how he demonstrates a compassionate firmness with his students. I think that these qualities of reflection and action concurrent with a set of core values is another defining element to Mr. Braithwaite.
In the book To Sir With Love, Mr. Braithwaite is a black teacher who has lived a life of learning to cope with being black in a difficult society that had set limitations on him. Initially, his experiences with racial prejudice has made him guarded with his co-workers. He is a strong disciplinarian who exhibits consistency in his expectations of students. He sets high expectations for himself and others. Yet, he demonstrates that he is capable of accepting change.
Mr. Braithwaite is a man who refuses to accept the ideals of his co-workers who have already burned out on trying to help the students. The students live in the English slums. His compassion unfolds as he learns more about the lives of his students and they build a connection with one another.