Glee’s To Sir With Love: An Ode to Teachers Who Truly Care

Teaching in 1960 vs 2010

{Image: Cagle Cartoons}

When I was a kid I wanted to teach because as a child of the 70’s and 80’s, teachers were respected and we were all very timid, quiet and well behaved. The classroom today is a jungle which teachers find hard to manage because the principle is always on the side of the parents and treats the child like a customer, and you know what they say about the customer.

I also had a few teachers who impressed me to no end with their kindness as well as their passion. I will never forget Miss Shone who is probably in New Zealand now, who got up on the table to act out Shakespeare for us. She even did the voices! She didn’t just mark our essays, she wrote sweet little notes of encouragement in them. There are a couple more, but I’ll probably give myself away if I list them all. One of them was not a formal teacher at school, but my aunt who made the impossible happen and because of her teaching, which was totally with love, I scored full marks in Chemistry. Sometimes the impossible is possible when you’re inspired enough.

I am sure a lot of teachers will be able to relate to this. Teaching used to be a respected and desirable vocation, but these days from what I hear, office politics has entered the teaching profession as well. Senior teachers are chucked aside and priority is given to the younger batch of teachers, making them feel marginalized. Teachers are spending more time on administration and dealing with parents then actual teaching. I have a friend who gets called on her cell phone by parents because of silly incidents like the other kid took my kid’s pencil, so you need to scold the other kid and stuff like that.

Glee Shines with To Sir With Love

Dare I say I prefer the show choir version to the original?

With a show like Glee, I think it’s reviving not only show choir, but the glory of the teaching profession. Who wouldn’t want a teacher like Mr Schuester who inspires his kids, truly cares about them and is cute to boot (ok the last one is a tad inappropriate). Or what teacher wouldn’t want passionate kids who respect and look up to him like the kids in the Glee club.

Spoiler Alert: Don’t watch it because it may reveal part of the story which hasn’t aired in Singapore yet. But they are finally singing ‘To Sir With Love’ By Lulu. Since the show began I was waiting for this song to be added. A Song from the old Sidney Poiter movie that never fails to warm my heart and bring the waterworks.


Here are the beautiful lyrics to the song, To Sir With Love by Lulu:

Those schoolgirl days, of telling tales and biting nails are gone,
But in my mind,
I know they will still live on and on,
But how do you thank someone, who has taken you from crayons to perfume?
It isn’t easy, but I’ll try,

If you wanted the sky I would write across the sky in letters,
That would soar a thousand feet high,
To Sir, with Love

The time has come,
For closing books and long last looks must end,
And as I leave,
I know that I am leaving my best friend,
A friend who taught me right from wrong,
And weak from strong,
That’s a lot to learn,
What, what can I give you in return?

If you wanted the moon I would try to make a start,
But I, would rather you let me give my heart,
To Sir, with Love

Sometimes Youtube is just wonderful! I found a clip from the 1967 movie ‘To Sir With Love’ for those who haven’t seen it or for those who have, for nostalgia’s sake.


About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore & recently cancer too.
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