When 5th grade teacher Ethan Collins’ wife leaves him, he falls into a depression tailspin that leads to neglecting his class and letting his students run wild. Rather than going to a therapist, he works through his issues during class with a bunch of 10-year-olds. His nemesis, Assistant Principal Gruber, can’t fire him because he has tenure, so she punishes him by putting him in charge of the school play. Ethan rewrites the play to be about his marital problems in order to win his wife back. Meanwhile, Gruber bribes one of Ethan’s students to secretly record him in class, escalating their conflict. On opening night, everything comes to a head as Ethan’s wife and members of the school board show up to see the brilliant trainwreck that is the school play.