- Steven consoling Lauren after she complains about how teachers face disrespect every day.
Lauren: Three siblings. Two are doctors, the other's an investment banker. And to my parents, I'm the one who didn't make anything of herself. I can still hear my father's words: "What a waste, Lauren. You are so smart. You could actually be somebody." Something we battle every day is disrespect. We get it from the kids because it comes from the parents. And look at what we make!Steven: You know what your problem is, Lauren? You don't have any idea how powerful you are. Things you say in that classroom some of those kids are going to remember fifty years from now, even if you've forgotten by the sound of the next bell. Do you like being a teacher?Lauren: I love it.Steven: Then what are you complaining about?
- Steven and Scott exchanging holiday gifts in "Chapter Eight."
- Kevin Jackson's graduation speech.
Kevin: The truth is, I don't have any big message. I don't even have any dreams. A lot of my classmates, the same thing—no dreams. I think one reason for that, the idea of becoming adults—it isn't something we look forward to. We look around, we see our parents, our coaches, our teachers—who'd want to be them? Our parents mainly think about money, our coaches mainly think about winning, and our teachers...most of you look half-dead every day. Don't get me wrong; I admire anybody who can go to a place day after day after day tryin' to teach a bunch of us. But a lot of you are disillusioned, you don't get enough respect. Your days are too long, your checks are too small, and you get a little more dead with each passing day. And we see that, making us just a little more afraid day by day. Afraid of the future. And we got no dreams. The truth is, today's kids are disadvantaged. We didn't get to grow up with any Martin Luther Kings or Bobby Kennedys. They didn't make any Jackie Robinsons in our generation. Today's heroes, they're not presidents. Proud parents today say any kid might grow up to be Alan Greenspan. And we got no dreams. Despite all this, I'm standing up here to say there are heroes among us. Sometimes they're parents. Sometimes they're classmates like Christine Banks or Lisa Grier. Sometimes they're teachers. With me, Harvey Lipschultz. He's a bigot, but he never let me forget every day that I could be something. He took an interest in me. And Mr. Senate? He doesn't know it, but he saved my life. There's been a few times I thought about just driving over that center line, but then he started the Suicide Club and I was too proud to join it. But just knowin' that there were other kids out there struggling with some of the same stuff I was...it helped me get by. Mr. Harper, who's here fightin' for us every day, with eyes that never go dead. When I look at him, I want to be a principal. I guess my big message for today is, heroes are in the grass sometimes. They're not always on billboards and magazine covers. You've gotta look for 'em, even when they stand right in front of you. So, do that. Let's live our lives tryin' to do that. Spot 'em, point 'em out to your kids. Maybe there's dreams out there too. And now, I'll ask all of you to applaud because I'm finished.
- In a Season 2 episode, Harvey finds out that he fathered a son, Lester, with a black woman many years ago. He initially rejects Lester out of shame over cheating on his beloved wife, but after a talk with Steven, he reconciles with Lester, who introduces Harvey to not only his own son but also his own grandchildren. The whole thing moves Harvey, who's a known bigot, to Tears of Joy.
- In "Chapter Forty-Nine," Marilyn has a student named Asa, who's a talented violinist but is forced to work by his Fantasy-Forbidding Father who, when confronted by Marilyn, reveals he was in a similar situation but ended up with no money and is trying to spare Asa a similar fate. Marilyn turns to Scott, who initially agrees with Asa's father but, after hearing Asa play, relents and meets with Asa's father to offer Asa a paying job helping him do some filing at Winslow. When Asa shows up for work in the final act, Scott hands him a violin and clarifies that he's paying Asa to practice while he (Scott) does his filing. It's awesome AND heartwarming.
- In the same episode, Harry decides to take a leave of absence due to his mental issues. On his way out of the school, he shares a Man Hug with Steven. Also, he and Scott, who've often clashed repeatedly over the years, shake hands.
- Marla, who wanted to have her own baby for the entire series, eventually becomes a foster mother for one of her students, a social outcast Rainy, sparing her from being sent away yet again back to the orphanage. And while they both are fully aware this is not going to be an easy task, they decide to at try their hardest to create a functional family. Sadly, the show ended right after their arc was started.