Oct 1, 2012
I apologize to every teacher I ever had - Tony Danza
I apologize to every teacher I ever had: my year as a rookie teacher at Northeast High - Danza, Tony
Summary: Television, screen and stage star Tony Danza's absorbing account of a year spent teaching tenth-grade English at Northeast High -- Philadelphia's largest high school with 3600 students.
Not a whole lot of people tuned into the 2010 reality-TV series Teach. But those who did saw the Who's the Boss? star, who had long dreamed of teaching English, suffer reality checks so brutal he regularly broke down in tears. Danza's memoir of his year working at Philadelphia's biggest public school hews closely to the show, from his sweat-drenched first day to his ineffective class clowning to the harsh reprimands from a principal unafraid to toss him out. Dealing with just one-fifth of a typical teacher's workload, Danza indulges in grandiose lesson plans—talent shows, poetry slams, etc.—and yet he is still racked with daily anxiety. This is a breezy read, and when Danza isn't duking it out with the TV producer (who worries they have a boring show), he is able to shed light on a number of the underreported struggles teachers face: dealing with adoption fantasies, reporting sexual abuse, and breaking up fights, among them. A memorable exchange features a student telling Danza to grow some balls, but it took significant cojones for him to even try teaching. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.