Mark Thackeray is the newest teacher to a class of discouraged and disruptive teens at North Quay Secondary School in London. Their teacher-bating skills have provoked other staff to fury, fear, disdain, even retirement. But Mark sympathises with the students. He has glimpsed their obstacle-ridden environments. He has risen from humble beginnings and prejudice himself, and is still struggling to land a job in his preferred field of engineering. He sees past their problems to their potentials. Despite their wisecracking, trick-playing, desk-banging, shades-wearing, porn-toting, crude-mouthed mockery, he proceeds to teach with exemplary calm.
On the day his temper explodes, he takes a new approach. Their status as “children” is revoked. They are to address him as “Sir,” and each other with similar respect. The books that so bore them are out. Dialogue is in, and no subject is taboo. Soon, they begin to perk up and to question the world and themselves. The self-esteem he inspires in the girls entices the boys to classier conduct. He risks a museum excursion, and is rewarded with joyful good behaviour, and board permission for future outings.
But it isn't all smooth sailing. Cool, sardonic tough guy Denham continues to goad him. Pretty Pamela Dare's crush must be handled with care. When Sir prescribes an apology to an insensitive gym teacher attacked for causing injury, the entire class is outraged. Racism duels with compassion when a mixed-race student's mother dies. Denham challenges Sir to a physical fight, with perspective-changing results. As the school year comes to a close, Mark receives a letter of acceptance for an engineering position. Before emptying his desk, he attends the graduation party, where the compliments from his colleagues are surpassed only by the surprises from his students.
This report prepared by vjm
A black man gets a job teaching at an inner-city high school in London. He has no previous experience. When he meets these kids he discovers how hard it is to teach them, because they are stupid. He then grows to like them, as do they, while he teaches them about adulthood and life.
This report prepared by Jack Bauer
This is a tale of an American-trained professor who moves to London to teach a group of rowdy kids wot's wot, wot? He is firm, yet fair. He shows them what they will need to know in order to become successful human beings, who will strive to better their status in the adult world.
This report prepared by Jaime