Malcolm Fletcher is a disenchanted school teacher, struggling to keep to his doctor's prescribed diet for his weight. On the last day of school, he finds that Ben Burton, a fifth grader, has brought his deaf and mute sister Annie to class.
Fletcher initially mocks Ben and wishes Annie weren't in his class, but he soon discovers after setting the class a poetry writing task that Annie is literate. Fletcher interrogates Ben on Annie's intelligence, growing disgusted at his own neglect, and declares Annie will begin to come to school. He leaves the school with renewed cheer at the thought of a child needing him as a teacher.