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The Unteachables: 05/21/19
The Unteachables by Gordon Korman is about a classroom of misfits who fight to save their teacher's job so that he can retire with benefits. It's told from multiple points of view but does manage to tell a complete and compelling story.
There's a scene early on in the pilot of The Greatest American Hero (1981) where Ralph Hinkley gets the attention of his class of "unteachables" by tossing a chair into the middle of the room. I see teacher Zachary Kermit as a burned out Hinkley. At the start of his career one of his students was part of a cheating ring. Since the student was the son of the mayor, Mr. Kermit was thrown under the bus. He and his career have never recovered.
So now it's his last year of teaching. He's been assigned the classroom of kids jokingly called "the unteacheables" by the school administrators as well as the other students. They're kept to their own corner of the school: a seventh grade class and an eighth grade class. Mr. Kermit has been assigned the eighth grade class.
All of this is introduced by way of the first narrator, a girl named Kiana. She's here only temporarily while her mother is filming on location. Her step-mother doesn't show up in time to register her for class. So she goes to the office to register herself. Unfortunately before she gets there, she has a run-in with Parker, one of the unteacheables and is sent to the class too. It's one big case of mistaken identity that doesn't get noticed until the school year is nearly over.
Despite Mr. Kermit not wanting to be there and Kiana not belonging there and the other students having given up ever learning anything, or being taken seriously by a teacher, these misfits come together. They do end up learning and they do end up rallying behind Mr. Kermit when the administration decides to force him out before he's able to retire with benefits.