“Abbott Elementary,” ABC’s new sitcom mockumentary, hit streaming services in December and received a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
With witty commentary, the focus on characters' faces and dialogue to the cameras directly, this mockumentary draws comparisons to other sitcoms such as “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation.”
Abbott Elementary was created by Quinta Brunson, a comedian who got her start posting comedic videos to her Instagram in 2014. Her fan base grew when her series “Girl Who Has Never Been on a Nice Date” went viral. She then went on to work for Buzzfeed Motion Pictures.
The series is set in an underfunded public school in Philadelphia and puts the audience in the shoes of public school teachers. This show is shining a light on the reality of underfunded and underpaid teachers in public schools.
Going into the third year of a pandemic, being a teacher doesn’t seem to be easy.
Nearly one in four teachers said they were likely to leave their jobs by the end of the 2020–2021 school year. These statistics can be compared to one in six teachers who were likely to leave before the pandemic, most of them being African American teachers.
What is so refreshing about this show is it doesn’t mention COVID-19 but is still set in today’s time. Moreover, it solely focuses on the relationship between teachers and students along with the obstacles they face.
Even if you don’t work in the school setting, the topics can be relatable to some.
In the first episode, after a student peed on the classroom rug, one of the teachers, Janine, is looking for money to buy a new rug for her classroom. Despite knowing her school has little funds for a new rug, she is optimistic to get one.
Many of her colleagues thought she was acting ridiculous for wanting something so little for her classroom, but little did they realize, one of her students used the rug to sleep during lunch because “it’s softer than his bed at home.”
Abbott Elementary shows how compassionate many teachers are toward their students despite the struggles and setbacks they face. Despite the constant uproars about their value in society and what they can and cannot teach, teachers still find love in what they do.
The show serves as a reminder to all teachers. We see the stress and importance of your role as not only an educator but also as a second parent and guidance counselor to some students.