Han Miao-miao (Li Ling) is a new teacher and approaches her first class of 10-year-olds with some trepidation, held under control by her enthusiasm for teaching. An entire series of problems arise that leave her almost ready to call it quits: one boy feels alienated because his parents are in jail for once supporting Primier Zhou En-lai, and he breaks windows in frustration, another boy takes advantage of his grandfather's position in the army to lord it over all the other children, and yet another wobbly-kneed child writes notes to Miao-miao accusing various classmates of being "poisoned by the Gang of Four." Some other difficulties are far from sinister but equally difficult to resolve, such as the stuttering problem of one child. The classroom tensions reach a head when the underhanded "Gang of Four" villain gets Miao-miao in trouble with his parents, and things go from bad to worse. When the teacher approaches the principal to vent her desire to quit, her students unite to keep her as their teacher -- and although their support is crucial, it is an important event at a parent-teacher meeting that carries the day for Miao-miao.
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