A group of dedicated, passionate teachers - and a slightly tone-deaf principal - are brought together in a Philadelphia public school where, despite the odds stacked against them, they are determined to help their students succeed in life. Though these incredible educators may be outnumbered and underfunded, they love what they do - even if they don't love the school district's less-than-stellar attitude toward educating children.
Going against everyone's advice, Janine takes it upon herself to fix every problem herself when she notices a flicking light bulb in the hallway. Despite the best intentions, Janine ends up causing new issues throughout the school. Elsewhere, Gregory asks Barbara for help talking to a parent, which leads him to spend his lunch period in an unexpected way.
It's Wishlist Week at Abbott: a chance for teachers to ask the local community for new school supplies. Janine takes to TikTok and with Ava's assistance, her video is a success and goes viral. Feeling confident, Janine and Ava make a video for Barbara behind her back after she declines their help. Later, Janine encourages Gregory to decorate his classroom.
When a new computer program is introduced at Abbott, Janine is excited to finally help Barbara out with something. However, Barbara is reluctant to accept change and finds herself in a tricky situation when she decides to lie about her students' results rather than admit defeat. Elsewhere, Melissa surprises Jacob when she offers up a friend to assist with his lesson on unions, but she ends up teaching Jacob an important lesson herself.
After a negative teacher review, Janine gets a confidence boost when a student gets transferred from Melissa's class into hers, but it turns out the student proves to be too much to handle. While trying to forge a friendship with an uninterested Gregory, it is revealed that Jacob is constantly getting roasted by his students. The two bond after Gregory unintentionally gives Jacob the idea to incorporate the roasts in an educational way.
Janine convinces Ava to start a gifted program at Abbott led by Jacob. However, when some students begin to feel left out, Gregory and Janine put their heads together and come up with a solution. Elsewhere, Barbara pushes a hesitant Melissa to start dating again.
When the school's art teacher retires, Janine is thrilled when the replacement ends up being her best friend from college, but things quickly turn sour when Sahar gets in the way of Melissa's class traditions. Meanwhile, Jacob and Barbara bond over their love for gardening and decide to start a school garden, but when it turns out they don't know how to successfully grow anything, Gregory secretly gets involved to fix all of their mistakes.
After Jacob reveals a detail about his personal life, Janine realizes she doesn't know the other teachers as well as she thought. Meanwhile, as Gregory's stern teaching approach is causing his whole class to underperform, Barbara and Melissa teach him how to relax and make his lessons more fun.
Janine is thrilled when Ava asks to help her teach the after-school step class, but the two don't see eye to eye on how to run the program. Later, when Barbara, Melissa and Jacob plan an "eat-off" to decide who makes the best pizza in Philadelphia, Gregory is forced to reveal a secret.
It's Open House night at Abbott Elementary, and while Janine prepares to meet her struggling student's mother, the rest of the faculty uses the time to relax. Gregory is taken aback when he learns how Ava got the principal job, and later, Barbara's daughter's visit creates a commotion in more ways than one when
When the students start participating in a new online trend that causes disruption to the school, the teachers band together to put an end to it. Meanwhile, Mr. Johnson provides comforting life advice to Gregory; and later, the teachers finally meet Jacob's boyfriend, Zach, who joins in to help stop the students "desking".
With the school board threatening to pull their funds, Janine and Gregory decide to help Ava out with her presentation in front of the Superintendent. However, their plan is derailed when a curveball is thrown at Ava. Meanwhile, Barbara offends Melissa when she doesn't agree with her blackmail idea.
While on Abbott's annual zoo field trip, Tariq reveals that he has been offered a job in New York; Janine struggles with a big choice; Barbara starts questioning her future after finding out her favorite tuatara has been retired because of old age.