PEOPLE can exclusively premiere the first teaser for season 3 of 'Abbott Elementary', which premieres Feb. 7 on ABC
School is back in session at Abbott Elementary.
In the first teaser for the third installment of the hit ABC sitcom, which PEOPLE can exclusively premiere, TV's favorite band of misfit teachers are back on campus and ready for another year of surprises.
School gets off to an interesting start for second grade teacher Janine (Quinta Brunson) as she faces questions from both parents and her colleagues in the teaser.
“This is an excellent school and your children are learning,” she declares as parents arrive to pick up their students. “Yeah, right,” one dad retorts, rolling his eyes.
“Yeah! It is right!” Janine hits back before kicking off what’s sure to be another chaotic year with her signature sarcasm and pure excitement.
“I’m just so happy to be back,” she says giddily while driving in one scene.
In typical Abbott Elementary fashion, though, tough-to-please parents aren’t the only thing on Janine’s plate. Her own boss is also questioning her.
“Do you work here?” principal Ava Coleman (Janelle James) asks Janine in a hilarious scene, prompting a more than confused expression on the teacher’s face. “Oh, this is embarrassing. For you!”
Chaos reigns elsewhere, too, as Melissa Schemmenti (Lisa Ann Walter) leads students down the hallway during a fire drill and jokingly announces in the midst of the emergency, “Single file line, most flammable kids first.”
While there aren’t many plot details given away in the teaser for the new season, which premieres Feb. 7, there are plenty of hilarious reaction shots captured, between Gregory Eddie’s (Tyler James Williams) signature wide-eyed look of shock in response to a dance break from Barbara Howard (Sheryl Lee Ralph) and an accident involving a desk toppling down the stairs ahead of a flustered Jacob Hill (Chris Perfetti).
As season 3 approaches, one of the biggest questions on fans' minds is the fate of Janine and Gregory, who — finally — explored their romantic chemistry with a kiss in season 2, but left off without a clear label on things. Their kiss also came at an inopportune time, as it followed Gregory’s breakup with Amber (Naté Jones), but Janine was technically still dating Maurice (Vince Staples).
While showrunner Patrick Schumacker told TheWrap prior to the finale of season 2 that “people will get some answers as to the will-they-won't-they” between the two beloved teachers, things remain pretty up in the air going into the new season.
That’s something Shumacker and the other writers did on purpose, though.
“As to season 3, we definitely had an opportunity, because we were ahead a little bit even at the end of the year, that we were able to start talking about bigger picture ideas before we wrapped the writers' room,” he told the outlet about the long-term thinking that went into the pair’s storylines.
Janine and Gregory’s colleagues have mixed opinions on the romance. Perfetti, who plays history teacher Jacob, told PEOPLE of his conflicting thoughts on the couple, "I feel like I don't know that my personal answer and Jacob's answer align here.”
"I will say I have a real appreciation for the way our writers and producers — led, obviously, by the genius that is Quinta Brunson — have really subverted people's expectations in many ways," he said. "I think, for now, I am team… What are my options? God. It's really hard!"
He added, "I feel like as an actor you need to be able to argue your case. And I can really make a strong argument for both. I'll say this: I think the way season two ended is the exact way it needed to end, and that there's a door open. But, as this year and certainly the year before have taught us, life can change very quickly sometimes."
Ralph, on the other hand, said she “used to” root for the relationship, but that’s not the case anymore.
“I honestly feel that these are two young people who definitely need therapy. I don’t know what the writers have planned, but if they were real people, I would say, ‘Look, you two young people, you need some therapy. You’ve got some issues that you need to work out, and that’s what you need to do before you take any of this further,’” she told Deadline in June.
She added, “Janine has mommy issues, and Gregory’s got daddy issues. Lord have mercy.”
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Season 3 of Abbott Elementary premieres Wednesday, Feb. 7 on ABC.
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