17 September 1969
In the pilot episode (which opens as essentially a continuation of the scenes in the opening credits), Pete Dixon teaches history in Room 222 at Walt Whitman High School. Principal Seymour Kaufman introduces Pete to Alice Johnson, a perky but painfully insecure student teacher. Pete's most enthusiastic student is Richie Lane, who goes so far as to dress a lot like Pete and even takes roll in his absence. But Guidance Counselor Liz McIntire has discovered some disturbing news about Richie -- the home address he submitted is fake, suggesting that he may not live in the school district, and therefore might be ineligible to keep attending Whitman.
24 September 1969
When one of the long-time teachers resigns as the advisor for the Junior Class Night, a musical presentation, Alice Johnson eagerly volunteers for the position. Principal Kaufman is reluctant at first to appoint her, but he relents under pressure from Pete Dixon and Liz McIntyre. Alice promises the class that it will be "their" presentation, and that she will allow them to run it the way that they want. She comes to regret this, however, when her shyest student, Helen Loomis, comes up with an unforgettable finale: everyone in the cast will strip naked on stage.
Season 1, Episode 3: Funny Boy1 October 1969
One of Pete Dixon's fellow history teachers complains about a boy named Harvey Butcher, who continually disrupts his American history class. When Principal Kaufman suggests that they may have to transfer Butcher to another school, Pete Dixon argues that the school administration isn't working with the boy. Kaufman, aided by a suggestion from Alice Johnson, decides instead to reassign him to Pete's history class. Pete initially finds that he's gotten more than he bargained for -- but he also sees a talent for humor and imagination in the boy and tries to find a more productive outlet for it.
Season 1, Episode 4: The Coat8 October 1969
Liz McIntyre is concerned about Jason Allen, who believes that he's not college material, and also that he's unlikely to get far in life because of his race. When she discovers that Jason is a talented artist, however, she arranges for him to get a job at a local department store's art department. Jason thanks her by giving her an expensive coat -- only it slowly dawns on Liz that the coat was likely stolen, not purchased.
Season 1, Episode 5: The Flu15 October 1969
A city-wide flu epidemic causes so many teachers to call in sick that the very real possibility of having to close Walt Whitman High looms for Principal Seymour Kaufman. In the meantime, Kaufman's son Martin unexpectedly shows up from a year and-a-half stint in the Peace Corps in Uganda. Martin's background as a teacher comes in handy because of the shortage of teachers caused by the epidemic -- but his continuing presence at Whitman also brings up unresolved emotional issues between him and his father.
22 October 1969
News reports suggest that a proposed school bond will fail by a large margin, and its defeat will mean cutting a number of programs at Walt Whitman High. The teachers initially propose only adopting a petition in support of the bond, but when Pete Dixon is elected to head a group of teachers to take a more active stance in favor of the bond, they decide to go on a half-day strike and to stage a demonstration to bring attention to their position -- much to the dismay of Principal Kaufman, who, although he supports the bond, sees the action as a useless gesture that likely won't change many voters' minds.
29 October 1969
Two men from a company named Automation West, which helps find employment for high school dropouts, come to visit Walt Whitman. Although they have worked with Pete Dixon on assisting dropouts in the past, their goal this time is to offer him a job with their company, at a substantial increase in salary. Pete is tempted by the offer, particularly because it will still involve working with kids -- but the possibility of his departure creates great consternation for his coworkers, especially Principal Kaufman, as well as among his students.
5 November 1969
Liz McIntyre is assigned to substitute in the "Preparation for Marriage" class taught by middle-aged Miss Tandy. Liz discovers that the class is based entirely on Miss Tandy reading aloud from a book composed of notes she has compiled over the years, much of which is no longer relevant to her students' lives. Liz decides to put the book aside to lead a discussion among the students -- something the students like so much that they ask for Liz to replace Miss Tandy as the teacher for the class.
12 November 1969
Jason Allen becomes smitten with a girl from the school named Elaine Harris. Elaine and Jason hit it off, but their attempt at a first date is spoiled by her uptight, somewhat conservative father, who doesn't take to Jason's laconic style and apparent lack of ambition. Then Jason comes up with an elaborate plan to use Richie Lane, the buttoned-down class overachiever, as a go-between to get Elaine out of her house for a date -- but things don't go quite as Jason hoped.
19 November 1969
Pete Dixon's class is studying civil disobedience apostle Henry David Thoreau, and Pete mentions that the city is planning to cut down the trees along his street to widen it for better traffic circulation. His class is inspired to show up there to stage a protest against the removal of the trees. The ringleader is Grady Garrett, an impressionable young student who already clashes frequently with his father, a doctor who is distressed that Grady doesn't want to follow him into the profession. Grady's father decides that the cause of Grady's new-found rebelliousness is Pete Dixon, whom he wants removed as a teacher.
26 November 1969
Alice Johnson is due for a review by the school district's supervisor of student teachers, and she's nervous about teaching the class by herself. Pete Dixon first tries letting her teach while he's present, but then decides that the best thing is to let her "go solo" without him -- which first leads to Alice losing control of the class, and then overcompensating by exercising iron discipline. With the day of her review approaching, Alice begins to wonder whether teaching is the right profession for her after all.
3 December 1969
The sometimes outlandish clothing that the students are wearing to school, especially one boy named Jerry Shaffer, has become an issue at Walt Whitman, with some complaining that Principal Kaufman is failing to enforce the dress code. Kaufman, backed by Pete Dixon, sees that the dress code (adopted in 1940) may need some updating, but isn't sure how far to go. Kaufman appoints a committee composed of parents and teachers, chaired by Pete, to advise him on the issue. Pete however, pushes to have student participation on the committee -- which ends up including both Jerry and his indecisive father.
10 December 1969
Pete Dixon is at a diner alone when a young woman asks his help to avoid a man she claims was stalking her. He buys her dinner and drives her home, but draws the line when she tries to become romantic. Then Pete discovers that she's actually a 17 year-old student from Walt Whitman who set up their meeting because she has an infatuation with him -- that she hopes will end in marriage.
17 December 1969
Walt Whitman High has arranged for an exchange teacher from England, Dora Hughes, who teaches creative writing and surprises the students with her novel approach to teaching -- including no permanent seating, no assignments, and the use of songs from Simon & Garfunkel and The Beatles in classroom discussions. While this energizes the students' interest in writing, some of her other quirks -- such as disregarding the bell schedule, not taking roll, and leading her students off on impromptu field trips -- place her on a collision course with the administration, especially Lloyd Hollis, the crusty head of her department.
Season 1, Episode 15: El Genio24 December 1969
Robert Salazar, a Mexican-American student with a high aptitude but who is indifferent about school, comes alive one day during a discussion of the Alamo in Pete Dixon's class. Alice Johnson decides to make him her "special project," hoping to convince him to consider college instead of going to work immediately after high school. At first, Salazar follows her suggestions, but soon runs into some frustrating dead ends, and not only gives up on college, but decides to quit Walt Whitman.
31 December 1969
More than 100 colleges are competing to recruit Whitman's talented halfback Ronnie Moore. Uncertain about which school to select, Ronnie turns to Seymour Kaufman and Pete Dixon for advice. They accompany Ronnie to Atlantic State, where one of its former star players, Jim Williams, takes Ronnie on a tour of the school -- which also happens to be Seymour Kaufman's alma mater. But as they speak to some of the school's officials and its current football players, Seymour and Pete learn some disturbing things about the school's treatment of student athletes -- and about Jim Williams himself.
7 January 1970
Walt Whitman High -- and Principal Kaufman -- is plagued with two problems on the same day. First, Pam Hundley is forced to bring her infant sister to Pete Dixon's class when the babysitter fails to show up; this starts a spate of students bringing their younger siblings to school. Then Sara Olson, another of Pete's students, begins to complain that she doesn't understand how the required high school courses have any value for her life, when her long-term ambition is to marry and raise a family. This gives Kaufman an idea that may allow him to solve both problems at once.
14 January 1970
Walt Whitman is planning an assembly to encourage its students to stay in school, but Pete Dixon is concerned that it won't be enough to convince Whitman's contemporary students. He recalls seeing former Whitman student Michelle Scott, now a famous singer, joking about how she was a high school drop out, and suggests that she might actually be embarrassed by her lack of a diploma. Pete and Liz McIntyre convince her to make an appearance at the assembly, and afterward she continues working on the problem of student dropouts. But Liz fears that her efforts may be more because she's attracted to Pete than just because she cares about students.
21 January 1970
Pete Dixon has his doubts about Roger Duncan, who teaches government at Whitman, but tries to pass himself off as a peer to the students with his flamboyant dress, "with it" lingo, and seemingly liberal attitude toward marijuana. Duncan changes his attitude quickly, however, when the students in his class plant what appears to be a joint on his desk -- and he's accused of bringing drugs to school.
28 January 1970
A discussion in Pete Dixon's class about the difference that one person can make leads Jason and Richie to become involved in a class project -- to raise the money to purchase 1 minute of air time on a local television station to try to raise awareness about air pollution. Jason and Richie also have to write and produce the announcement -- and when they start looking for an announcer, they decide that Pete Dixon himself would be the perfect choice.
11 February 1970
Liz McIntyre finds herself caught between the desires of Sharon Stopps, one of the students she counsels, and Sharon's obnoxious, overbearing father. Sharon has decided that she would prefer to become a beautician instead of going to college, something that her blue-collar father doesn't understand. So he insists -- loudly and frequently -- that Liz change Sharon's class schedule to one that will make her college-bound.
Season 1, Episode 22: Ralph18 February 1970
Pete Dixon starts teaching an evening adult education class at Walt Whitman to earn some extra money, and discovers that the students are much more interested and motivated to learn the subject than his daytime high school students. On the other hand, he finds himself plagued by self-described "history nut" Ralph Fisk, whose love for the subject makes it hard to carry on a conversation with Ralph about anything else -- and who "adopts" Pete as his new best friend because Pete it too polite to refuse Ralph's attentions.
25 February 1970
Charlie and Abby, two of Walt Whitman's students, approach Pete Dixon and Liz McIntyre to announce that they are planning to marry at the end of the semester, and to request that Pete and Liz be the couple's best man and maid of honor, respectively. Pete and Liz believe it would be a mistake for the couple to marry so young, so they try to befriend them, hoping to persuade them gently to reconsider. Charlie and Abby mistake Liz and Pete's entreaties as approval, and announce that they have decided to move up their wedding date to the following weekend.
4 March 1970
A new boy, Dennis Joplin, transfers to Walt Whitman from John Adams High, and brings with him a lengthy disciplinary record. He provides a reasonable explanation for some of his behavior to Seymour Kaufman and Pete Dixon -- but within a short time they begin to realize that Dennis has a much more serious problem -- he lies almost all the time about almost everything.
11 March 1970
Principal Seymour Kaufman asks Pete Dixon to take over a remedial reading class that the current teacher has trouble controlling. Pete finds that the students are sarcastic and unmotivated, and so he decides to try something unorthodox: pay the students if they will do their assignments.
18 March 1970
Over Principal Seymour Kaufman's objections, the school district forces Walt Whitman to accept hundreds of new students on short notice, causing significant unhappiness among the teachers. Kaufman approaches Pete Dixon, who holds an important position with the P.T.A., and asks him not to raise objections about Whitman's new enrollees at the upcoming P.T.A. meeting, but Dixon feels that he must stand up for this fellow teachers -- causing a serious rift in Dixon's relationship with Kaufman.
23 September 1970
A group of students who are tired of the school administration's control over the school newspaper decide to start their own underground newspaper about life at Walt Whitman High. For their premiere issue, they interview Pete Dixon, who agrees to keep their identities a secret. But that first issue also includes a "teacher evaluation" column -- which makes a number of nasty comments about several teachers, including Alice Johnson.
30 September 1970
With the student council election coming up, Pete Dixon complains to his class about student apathy, noting that less than a quarter of the student body is even registered to vote. The election features a contest between a serious candidate for school president, David Kane, and the football team's quarterback, who sees it mostly as a popularity contest. But then the election is thrown into disarray by the surprise candidacy of class clown Harvey Butcher as the "anti-candidate" - whose humor and mockery of the process ignites new interest in the election, even as it unexpectedly gives him a shot at winning.
7 October 1970
Pete Dixon has been nominated for the statewide award of "History Teacher of the Year." When the committee evaluating his teaching methods comes to his classroom, they happen to sit in on an open discussion about Abraham Lincoln's place in American history. But when Jason Allen makes some inflammatory comments about Lincoln's character and accuses him of harboring racist beliefs about black Americans, one of the evaluators storms out of Pete's classroom in disgust.
Season 2, Episode 4: Adam's Lib14 October 1970
Several of the girls at Walt Whitman begin to protest their treatment at the hands of both the male students and the administration. Their ringleader is Sandy, whose persistence wins an unexpected victory when another girl is allowed to take auto shop. But then there is some backlash -- and ridicule -- from those who see "women's libbers" as trying to change the sex roles too radically. Sandy, however, sees a chance to win respect from the school and the male students by having Pat Halloran, a gifted female athlete, compete for a spot on the boys' basketball team.
21 October 1970
Pete Dixon participates in a pilot program that cross-trains teachers to become administrators, and finds himself in the vice-principal's office alongside Gil Casey, a tough disciplinarian who believes that no student who comes into his office ever tells the truth. Pete tries to take a softer approach with the students, putting him on a collision course with Casey - even though he reluctantly begins to see that Casey may be right about the duplicity of at least some of the students.
28 October 1970
Conflicts develop between two students, Craig Jackson and Brendan Michaels, Craig a short-haired, straight-laced type who respects authority and often exercises it as a hall monitor, and Brendan an easygoing free spirit with long hair who abides authority grudgingly if at all. Tension boil over, however, when the track coach becomes ill and Pete Dixon takes over for the balance of the season. Pete relaxes the discipline and permits students with long hair to play for the team -- including Brendan Michaels, who is an excellent pole vaulter. This doesn't sit well, however, with Craig Jackson, who abruptly quits as the team captain because of the constant clowning that Brendan brings with him onto the team.
4 November 1970
Parents' Day at Walt Whitman brings with it an unexpected visitor named Rose Lipton, who follows Pam Simpson into Pete Dixon's class and regales the students with stories about her experiences as an immigrant - the topic that the class happens to be discussing. Although she is welcome in Pete's class, she makes similar impromptu presentations in other classes, and the teachers' complaints lead Principal Kaufman to ask her to stay away from the campus. This prompts several of the students to try to find some way that she can remain at Whitman even though she has no professional credentials.
11 November 1970
Walt Whitman and its surrounding area is patrolled during the school day by police officer Harry Collin, whom many of the students and faculty respect for his easygoing, cooperative attitude. But one person who does not like Collin's approach to police work is hard-nosed vice-principal Gil Casey, who, along with some of the local citizens, complain to Collin's superiors. This leads to disillusionment among the students when Collin informs Pete Dixon that he's been reassigned.
Season 2, Episode 9: Half Way18 November 1970
Pete Dixon has a friend, Jerry Colby, with whom he jogs regularly, and who has two children at Walt Whitman High. Pete learns that Jerry's daughter, Sheila, is transferring to a private school. Despite his friendship with Pete and his insistence that the transfer is so that Sheila can take advantage of the music and arts program at the private school, Jerry's and Sheila's inconsistent stories about why she is leaving lead Pete to suspect that Jerry wants to get Sheila out of racially-integrated Whitman High.
25 November 1970
Larry Ellison, a diminutive student of Pete Dixon's, lacks confidence in himself because of his size, and especially because he is taunted mercilessly by much larger fellow student Vic Martin. Pete suggests that Larry take up karate to build his self-esteem, and Larry begins to study under a karate master (real-life martial arts champion Chuck Norris, playing himself). Larry's efforts eventually begin to pay off, but Pete starts to have second thoughts when Larry becomes determined to use his new skills not just in self-defense, but also to settle his score with Vic Martin.
2 December 1970
With another year's graduation approaching, Alice Johnson convinces Walt Whitman's administration to have an open competition to select the class valedictorian instead of simply relying on the students' grades. The unexpected winner of the competition, however, is perpetual underachiever -- and occasional troublemaker -- Stan Siebert. As graduation day approaches, some of the faculty and Principal Kaufman begin to worry that Siebert will not simply deliver his speech that won the competition, but instead use the valediction to make a fiery denunciation of the school and the older generation.
16 December 1970
Several students at Walt Whitman have formed a band, the Nickel-Plated Toothpick, that has a shot at a recording contract with a Nashville record producer, thanks to the efforts of the band's manager, Sam Cousins, who operates a local discotheque. The band's lead guitarist, however, Mel Wertz, is deeply conflicted -- his dream is to be a teacher, but going forward with the recording contract and the required touring and publicity will mean missing that semester's finals -- and perhaps giving up on his dream of being a teacher.
23 December 1970
Both her fellow students and her teachers at Walt Whitman are impressed by the drive and energy constantly exhibited by Bobbie Walstone, and the "Generation Gap" prom is no exception. Bobbie volunteers for three different roles in helping to make the prom a success. But as the day of the dance draws near, some of the students are dismayed to discover that Bobbie herself has no date for the big night.
Season 2, Episode 14: Cheating6 January 1971
Walt Whitman pupil Chris Beaumont is apparently one of the few students who does not cheat in the math class of no-nonsense teacher Howard Bruckner. When Bruckner unfairly accuses Beaumont of cheating, too, however, Beaumont begins to think that perhaps he should take the easier way out, too -- especially when another student, Ferdie Landis, offers him an "advance copy" of Bruckner's next exam.
13 January 1971
Pam Arnold is thrilled when she is awarded a scholarship to one of the best art schools in the country. But when Principal Seymour Kaufman thanks Ken Dragen, the head of the English Department, for recommending her for the scholarship, he denies ever having signed her application form.
20 January 1971
Walt Whitman welcomes a new civics teacher, Mr. Bomberg, whose previous experience teaching was in New York and New Jersey. Bomberg's approach to teaching civics, however, is to use shouting, insults, and physical isolation of students who aren't prepared for the day's lesson. When this leads most of his class to request a transfer en masse, a parents' committee demands that he be replaced. But Bomberg has a surprise defender -- soft-spoken Pete Dixon, whose own teaching methods are diametrically the opposite of Bomberg's approach.
27 January 1971
Walt Whitman Principal Seymour Kaufman takes a personal interest in the situation of one student, Jerry Cates, who is a standout basketball player but whose grades have been tumbling, and who frequently falls asleep in class. Kaufman discovers that Jerry's mother has more or less abandoned him, forcing him to take on a night job just to pay the rent -- meaning that Jerry may end up in a foster home unless some other arrangements for his welfare.
3 February 1971
Liz McIntyre is rotated to the "opportunity room," a kind of detention in a classroom setting. Her most difficult charges are Tamara, a dreamy girl who nevertheless excels at art; and George Badgely, who resents authority and is the most difficult student to reach. Beset with a room full of troublemakers, Liz decides to take up George's contention that teachers are the problem: she has the students help each other with their best subjects -- and tries putting George himself in charge of the class.
10 February 1971
Charlie Morano and Abbie Domier confess that they have been married for more than four months while keeping the marriage a secret, having disregarded advice from Pete Dixon and Liz McIntyre that they should wait to tie the knot. Faced with the fact of Charlie's and Abbie's marriage, however, Pete and Liz now suggest that the newlyweds admit the truth to their parents -- whatever the consequences.
17 February 1971
Feelings are running high between Walt Whitman High and its arch-rival, Daniel Webster High before the annual football game between the two schools. Whitman's principal and that of Webster are even considering canceling the game, fearing a riot between the two student bodies. Pete Dixon, however, proposes that the students be allowed to organize a "cool it" campaign to stress rivalry without violence. But he runs into resistance from Augie Cerutti, the captain of Whitman's football team, who is determined to win the campaign against Webster using any means available.
3 March 1971
Someone has been committing acts of vandalism, such as dumping a bag of trash on some students during lunch, to call attention to the growing problem of pollution. The culprit disguises himself as "Paul Revere," and signs notes taking credit for the actions with Revere's name. Pete Dixon, however, figures out that the perpetrator is one of his students who holds Revere in high esteem. When Pete guesses the truth, the student swears him to secrecy -- but Pete has trouble abiding by his promise when the vandalism escalates to more serious -- and potentially criminal -- acts.
10 March 1971
Alice Johnson finds herself exhausted to the point of collapse, as she not only teaches class by day, but also spends hours grading papers - in between counseling students about the problems in their personal lives. Her problems begin to turn into a crisis, however, when she agrees to let the students read "Catch-22" before tackling "Silas Marner", and then is caught having signed a less than truthful note about where one of her students was after school.
17 March 1971
New student Mathew Palmer, a naive country boy, is taken advantage of by the class wise guys --until he learns to fight back.
24 March 1971
Former Walt Whitman student Monty Harris returns after two years in the Marines to finish his senior year at his old high school. He expects that he will now be admired by the other students because of his real-world experience. But he finds that the language and the mind-set of the students has changed from what he remembers, and that their attitude toward him is different from what he anticipates.
31 March 1971
Many of the boys in Alice Johnson's English class over-react to Laura Fay, a transfer student whom they find quite attractive. Laura Fay herself is a sensitive young woman who loves poetry, and who jumps at the chance to try out for a "College Bowl"-style competition between Whitman and other high schools. But as the harassment by her male peers continues, she decides to drop out of the competition -- and perhaps out of school as well.
7 April 1971
Principal Seymour Kaufman is concerned about the prevalence of drug use at Whitman, and asks for suggestions how the teachers can help the students with this problem. Pete Dixon suggests setting aside a room where anyone who wants -- students or teachers -- can enter at certain times and talk freely, with assurances that nothing said will leave the room. At first the approach draws little interest from the students -- but then as it begins to show some promise, the school board decides it might want to shut the project down.
Season 3, Episode 1: K-W-W-H17 September 1971
24 September 1971
1 October 1971
8 October 1971
Season 3, Episode 5: Hi, Dad15 October 1971
22 October 1971
29 October 1971
5 November 1971
12 November 1971
19 November 1971
3 December 1971
10 December 1971
17 December 1971
31 December 1971
7 January 1972
14 January 1972
21 January 1972
Teacher, Pete Dixon, invites a young student (Champion) into the ring to test his boxing skills. If he can beat his teacher (Dixon), then he will drop out of school to pursue a boxing career.
28 January 1972
4 February 1972
11 February 1972
18 February 1972
25 February 1972
3 March 1972
15 September 1972
22 September 1972
29 September 1972
6 October 1972
13 October 1972
20 October 1972
27 October 1972
3 November 1972
10 November 1972
Season 4, Episode 10: Bleep17 November 1972
24 November 1972
1 December 1972
Season 4, Episode 13: Mr. Wrong8 December 1972
22 December 1972
5 January 1973
12 January 1973
19 January 1973
2 February 1973
9 February 1973
16 February 1973
23 February 1973
2 March 1973
9 March 1973
14 September 1973
21 September 1973
28 September 1973
5 October 1973
26 October 1973
2 November 1973
9 November 1973
16 November 1973
30 November 1973
7 December 1973
21 December 1973
Season 5, Episode 12: MPG28 December 1973
4 January 1974
Season 5, Episode 14: Cry Uncle11 January 1974
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