Good-Bye, Mr. Chips by James Hilton
Charles Chipping is a terrible teacher—uninspiring and unloved by his students at the (somewhat) prestigious Brookfield school for boys in England. But everything changes when he meets and marries the lovely and intelligent Katherine on a summer vacation. With some of his shyness finally overcome, Chips discovers a way to begin connecting with the young men in his classes, helping them to uncover the beauty of language and history. This novel is not only a sweet and sometimes tragic life story; it is also a record of the sweeping changes in England from the Victorian Era (Mr. Chips begins teaching in 1870) through the beginning of World War II.