What is the summary of Chapter 22 of To Sir With Love?

Expert Answers
dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The school term is drawing to a close, and a district Youth Employment Officer visits Mr. Braithwaite's class to discuss with them the opportunities available to them in the workplace after their graduation from school. Realistically, most of the children will find jobs locally, in the same firms that employ their parents. Some of them will find work farther afield; among these are Seales, Fernman, Jackson, and Potter. Pamela Dare is accepted as a trainee at a dressmaking firm, where her mother hopes she will eventually learn modeling. The children are excited, but not at all afraid to face the real world.

The students spend their last days in Mr. Braithwaite's class talking about the future and the things that they have learned. They ask Mr. Braithwaite what they might to "to help in the achievement of better inter-racial unity in their own neighborhood(s)." Their teacher responds that they need only behave decently to all people with whom they come in contact, showing them "the courtesy and gentleness which every human being should give to and expect from every other."

On Thursday, Christmas dinner is held in the dining hall, and all faculty must attend. The junior part is held at three o'clock, and Mr. Braithwaite is appalled at the poor behavior of the younger students. At four o'clock, the oldest students go home "to pretty themselves up" for the senior buffet and dance which begins at six. Before she leaves, Pamela asks Mr. Braithwaite to have one dance with her that evening, and he promises he will.

The staff is on hand to meet the seniors when they arrive, and are astonished at how grown up and sophisticated they all look. Mr. Braithwaite dances for much of the night with Gillian, and is the focus of much good-natured teasing from his students because of this. He reserves the last dance, however, for Pamela, just as he promised, and teacher and student enjoy a few magic moments to the song "In the Still of the Night." After the song is over, Pamela asks if she might visit Mr. Braithwaite at school sometimes, and says goodbye.

The students are subdued in class the next day, their last day at Greenslade's. Mr. Braithwaite realizes how much he has come to know them, and understands that some will be exceptional in their chosen professions, while others might have a little trouble. Most of them, though, will "just be decent folk...dependable, hard-working." At the end of the day, Moira Joseph gives a short speech to thank Mr. Braithwaite for all he has done for the class, and Pamela Dare presents him with a gift, beautifully wrapped. On the large label pasted on the box, the students have all signed their names, and written the words,

"TO SIR, WITH LOVE" (Chapter 22).