Chapter 10 : To Sir, With Love Questions and Answers ICSE Class 10

Question 1 : Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.

I took the reviews home that evening. I wanted to hear the comments of Mom and Dad. After dinner we sat around and talked about it; they were very pleased with the way things were moving , but advised caution.

(i) Who is ‘I’ here? Which reviews are being referred to here?

Answer : ‘I’ here refers to ER Braithwaite, the teacher of the top class of Greenslade School. The reviews referred to here are the Weekly Reviews written by the students in which they mentioned the school activities of the week and their feelings regarding them.

(ii) Who are Mom and Dad? Are they really related to the speaker?

Answer : Mom and Dad referred to here are Mrs. and Mr Belmont. No, they are not related to Braithwaite. He lived with them and had started calling them Mom and Dad upon their suggestion. They were nice people and Braithwaite was quite attached to them.

(iii) What had been written in the reviews about the speaker?

Answer : The students had mentioned Braithwaite and his new methods. The boys talked about their addressing the girls as Miss. The girls talked about Mr Braithwaite asking Mrs Dale-Evans to tell them to bath. Nevertheless it was very clear that everybody liked how they were being treated as adults.

(iv) Why had Mr Florian introduced the method of reviews?

Answer : According to Mr Florian, reviews were of advantage to both pupil and teacher. Week by week, through the reviews, students improved their English and the ability to express themselves while the teachers were able to follow and observe his progress in such things. Teachers could further see if their lessons were having any effect and could plan their lessons accordingly.

(v) How did Dad react to speaker’s act of brining the reviews home?

Answer : Mr Belmont was very pleased with how things were moving for Braithwaite in the school. However, he told him not to fall in the habit of bringing work home. According to him, it indicated a lack of planning and he would eventually find himself stuck indoors every night. He told him that teaching is like having a bank account. Once can happily draw on it while it is well supplied with new funds; otherwise one is in difficulties.

Question 2 : Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.

“Sir, I have a magazine at home, Sir, all with women with no clothes on at the top, black women, Sir, dancing and that.”

(i) Who is the speaker of these lines? Who is being addressed as ‘Sir’? Where is the current scene taking place?

Answer : The speaker of these lines is a student of the top class of Greenslade School, Tich Jackson. ‘Sir’ referred to here is his teacher Mr ER Braithwaite. The current scene is taking place in the classroom.

(ii) What is the context of conversation taking place here?

Answer : One morning, Braithwaite’s class was having a lesson on Geography that dealt with clothing. They discussed the type and amount of garments worn by people in varying climatic conditions such as -Eskimos and the Frigid Zone and their dress of skins and the thin cotton garments worn by Caribbean folk of the semi-torrid climates.

(iii) How did ‘Sir’ explain the point put up by ‘I’?

Answer : When Tich told Braithwaite that he had seen some black women with no clothes on the top, Braithwaite replied that it was indeed true. He informed the class that many people in the tropics wore very little clothing and some primitive folk were even quite content with a daub of paint here and there.

(iv) ‘Just after this, Pamela Dare said something about the Britons.’ What did she say? What explanation did ‘Sir’ give?

Answer : When Braithwaite said that some primitive folk adorned themselves with paint, Pamela Dare said that it was like the ancient Britons who painted themselves. Braithwaite said that painting was intended merely as decoration and not as a means of protection from climatic conditions. Some people painted themselves in startling ways so as to strike fear into the hearts of their enemies. Some African and North American Indian tribes were very much talented to do that, explained Braithwaite.

(v) The conversation led to the painting of a trip to the museum. Elaborate.

Answer : The Geography lesson dealt with clothing and the class discussed how people of different climatic conditions wore different types of clothing. Then the discussion shifted to how clothing had evolved in Britain. Braithwaite informed them that there was an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum that illustrated the change and they can go and see it if they wished to. Then they asked if Braithwaite would take them. He obliged and after Mr Florian’s consent, the trip was decided.

Long Questions

Question 1 : How did Braithwaite finally make it to the Weekly Reviews of his students? How did the students react to his methods? Had they accepted him as their mentor?

Answer : Braithwaite was having a hard time with the class. They were very rude to him and often denied his authority in the class. It felt as if they had no respect for him. When he, for the first time, scolded them, they became totally indifferent to him and paid no attention in the class. Then they became noisy and started disrupting the classes. Braithwaite had no choice and was at loss of ideas about how to manage them. Then came, what Braithwaite called, the ‘bawdy’ stage of his relationship with the students. They would use curses openly in the class. Then one day, things totally got out of hands. When Braithwaite entered the class, he saw that were was a sanitary napkin burning in the fire-place. He lost his temper and scolded the girls for being so indecent.  He went to the library. There he made a resolution that he would not be treated like that. He would set things right.

The next day, Braithwaite went into the class with a plan. It was not well thought out but made as things went. he announced that hey would talk and listen to each other. If at any time things were not clear to a student or they disagreed at a point, all they required to do was speak. Moreover, most of them were about to leave the school and search for jobs. Hence, they would be treated as young men and women.

Thereafter, Braithwaite told the class that they would address him as ‘Mr Braithwaite’ or ‘Sir’. The girls would be addressed as ‘Miss’ while the boys, by their surnames. Braithwaite continued and told the class that such things were very important as in a few months time these would become part of their jobs. They were the top class of the school and hence the juniors always aped them. It was their duty to set a good example.

It was Friday again, and the time of Weekly Review. Braithwaite, sitting in the class, was wondering what type of reviews he was going to get. Then Jackson asked the spelling of his name. Braithwaite wrote it one the blackboard. Braithwaite read some of them and found the mention of his new plans in the class. Some of them dissented it but all-in-all, they were very pleased to be treated as adults.

Then the students asked him to take them on a trip. They behaved very nicely. On the train, they were seen defending him and often referring to him for what he had said. It was concrete proof that they believed in what he said to them. They had started to build faith in him. He had become their mentor.