Mark Thackeray: Classic Movie Characters with Kickass Confidence

Mark Thackeray — in To Sir with Love, played by Sidney Poitier

As an unemployed engineer looking for work, Mark Thackeray takes a temporary position as a teacher in the tough East End of London.

Thackeray’s students come from disruptive homes, so the one place where they take control is in the classroom. As an unruly mob, their goal is to ride roughshod over the teachers.

Sidney Poitier in To Sir With LovePhoto: Sidney Poitier as Mark Thackeray in To Sir With Love (1967, James Clavell director)

Mark Thackeray wins this battle of wills by taking a new approach: treat the students as adults. He throws out all the textbooks and allows the students to ask questions about real life. He also teaches survival skills, such as preparing an easy and inexpensive meal.

Thackeray gets high marks for kickass confidence, not only for his own ability to adapt and thrive in the world, but in passing these same skills on to a new generation, too.

His focus outside himself on the needs of his students earns trust, respect and, without doubt, their love.

–Michelle Kerrigan for Classic Movie Hub


Michelle Kerrigan is an expert in workplace performance who helps clients achieve success by developing the skills they need to increase their confidence. She shares “Classic Movie Characters with Kickass Confidence” because each of them has inspired her. She hopes that they inspire you too. For more about Michelle, visit

This entry was posted in Characters with Kickass Confidence, Posts by Michelle Kerrigan and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.