Simon discovers that a teacher has hung herself in the classroom. Bachir Lazhar, 55, Algerian immigrant is the substitute teacher. The class goes through the healing process.
Simon discovers that the popular teacher Martine has hung herself in the classroom. Having learned of the incident in the newspaper, Bachir Lazhar (Mohamed Fellag), a 55-year-old Algerian immigrant, goes to the school to offer his services as a substitute teacher. Quickly hired to replace the deceased, he finds himself in a school in crisis, while going through his own personal tragedy. Little by little, Bachir gets to know the group of shaken but endearing kids, among them Simon and Alice, two charismatic pupils particularly affected by their teacher's death. While the class goes through the healing process, nobody in the school is aware of Bachir's painful past, nor do they suspect that he is at risk of being deported at any moment.