Abbott Elementary – Season 2 Episode 16 “Teacher Conference” Recap & Review

Teacher Conference

In Abbott Elementary Season 2 Episode 16, the Abbott teachers prepare to leave for the annual PECSA (Pennsylvania Educational Conference for the Southeast Area) weekend conference in Allentown. All the teachers except Gregory, that is.

Gregory plans a weekend getaway for himself and Amber. But the strict schedule he plans just reveals to Amber their irreconcilable differences, and she dumps him.

At the conference, Jacob connects with a teacher from Addington named Summer. She invites him to a small party with other Addington teachers, who try to convince him to come teach with them. But when he learns they only accept the kids who “have the best chance of making it,” he realizes he doesn’t like them after all.

Melissa and Barbara only care about enjoying themselves this weekend. When they meet Dawn Nichols, a school supplier, they try to get an “in” with her to help out Abbott. But Melissa is out of there when her sister Kristin Marie approaches.

Barbara tells Melissa it’s time to finally settle her differences with her sister. Melissa and Kristin Marie only start fighting about recipes again, until someone insults Kristin over her outfit, and Melissa steps in to defend her. Satisfied, Barbara starts chatting up Dawn about supplies.

Janine is surprised to find Gregory at the PECSA conference. When she learns Amber broke up with him, she tries to keep him occupied with lectures to distract him from the breakup. She understands that being busy is his favorite way to decompress.

At the big PECSA party, Gregory admits he’s not too upset over losing Amber. But he doesn’t understand always being the one to be dumped. While getting drinks with Janine, he says he always felt too weird around Amber. Janine then tells him he deserves to be with someone who likes him exactly as he is–proceeding to list things she likes about him.

Later, Janine and Gregory break into the living classroom, a classroom made entirely out of flowers. She shares that this room shows all she loves about teaching, and that resonates with Gregory. They then have to duck and hide when they hear someone coming. When they do, Gregory kisses her.

When they pull away from each other, their faces flip from happy to regretful. Each tells the cameraman they were simply caught up in the moment. And back at Abbott, they agree to ignore what happened between them. 

Later, Kristin Marie finds Melissa to give her information. Legendary Charter CEO Draemond Winding wants to turn Abbott Elementary into a charter school–in which case, none of their jobs would be safe.

The Episode Review

I’m personally of the mind that it’s a bit too soon for something to happen between Janine and Gregory. There was more room and time for their chemistry to build. But that living classroom was a magical way to execute their first kiss that I can’t be too upset. The episode smartly ends with awkward energy between the teachers, which I’m sure writers will have fun with.

Maybe Brunson has reason for rushing so many things, but I thought it was odd that Melissa and Kristin Marie’s feud ended so quickly as well. As her relationship with her sister was built up to be so integral to Melissa’s character, their resolution should have been a focus of its own episode.

But all in all, Abbott delivered a comical, engaging, and romantic episode–and certainly the one Janine/Gregory fans have been waiting for.

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