Long before he starred on some of television’s most beloved and long-running series such as Taxi and Who’s the Boss? and went on to distinguish himself in a variety of film and stage roles, Tony Danza was a walking contradiction: an indifferent student who dreamed of being a teacher. Inspiring a classroom of students was an aspiration he put aside for decades until one day it seemed that the most meaningful thing he could do was give his dream a shot.
What followed was a year spent teaching 10th-grade English at Northeast High - Philadelphia’s largest high school with 3,600 students. Entering Northeast’s crowded halls in September 2009, Tony found his way to a classroom filled with 26 students who were determined not to cut him any slack. They cared nothing about “Mr. Danza’s” showbiz credentials, and they immediately put him on the hot seat.
It was only after experiencing abject terror for several weeks - and even dissolving into tears on several occasions - that Tony began to pick up the tricks of how to get kids to learn.
Featuring indelible portraits of students and teachers alike, I’d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had reveals just how hard it is to keep today’s technologically savvy - and often alienated - students engaged, how impressively committed most teachers are, and the outsized role counseling plays in a teacher’s day, given the psychological burdens many students carry. The audiobook also makes vivid how a modern high school works, showing Tony in a myriad of roles - from lecturing on To Kill a Mockingbird to coaching the football team, organizing a talent show, leading far-flung field trips, and hosting teacher gripe sessions.
Inevitably, Tony’s students steal their way into our hearts - in a way that always feels authentic. A surprisingly poignant account, I’d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had is sometimes laugh-out-loud funny but is mostly filled with hard-won wisdom and feel-good tears.
©2012 Tony Danza (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
I live in the midwest in the US. I am over 65. I'd rather read than watch television. I find it's even more enjoyable w/audible added.
I never knew the fact that Tony Danza was a teacher. I really enjoyed listening to him tell his own story. I think when an author reads his own work it adds so much more to the true feeling of a book. The author knows where to put the emphasis and what feeling it should emit. This was an interesting story of a year in the life of a teacher who really cared about students. There are more like him out there teaching but I'm sure many more who couldn't hack the way kids are now. Lots of parents don't back up the teachers. It's easier to let their kid do what he wants, harder to confront than to ignore problems. Tony gets through to the kids, but imagine putting that much effort out year after year! It would wear almost anyone out. God bless he teachers who stick with it.
The most memorable event was when the students gathered around their crying teacher to comfort him. It was touching. Most kids are deep down good souls. Kids need love, attention, guidance and time at home with family. Let's not forget discipline, not beatings, but discipline.
Loved his narration. Well done weaving together of story of Tony Danza's life along with his experience teaching an English honors class at a inner city Philadelphia high school. Love his humor, his willingness to share his foibles along with his successes, his efforts to be a worthy teacher, his insights on education.
I took a chance on this book when it was a daily deal. I am not a non fiction fan and usually try to stay away from them. I also do not write many reviews but felt compelled to do so here. This really was an amazing story. I appreciate the honesty, integrity and love in this story. Makes me look at my sons teachers in a different light (though he is in a private school). Kudos to Tony Danza for doing this and opening out eyes to this tough profession! A must read for anyone who has kids or is thinking of going into teaching!
Yes, it made me laugh and cry.
When Mr. Danza's class group hugged him.
Too many to name.
A teachers job is never done.
I love how he spoke of how students could frustrate him so much then on a dime make you love them so much. Very true! Enjoyable book. Thanks for writing it!
I only knew Tony Danza from the 1980's TV show "Taxi", but, through this book, I found out what a great guy he is. But more importantly, in this book, Tony Danza lets me peek at some of the real lives of the kids who attend a public school in Philadelphia. I never watched the cable TV "reality show" that was part of this, but I know this actor went much deeper than a role in the TV show. He stayed with the class after the TV show production ended, and he still keeps in touch with some of the students. It's really heat-breaking what some of these kids have to go through in their personal lives AND go through the high school life that is so important in determining their future. We all know how important education is, but most of us, including myself, tend to think "education" in rather abstract way. This book brought me back to the time when I went to a public school but also reminded me how important this short period can be in shaping the kids' future. For this, I now feel that high school teachers probably play more important roles than college professors do. We often hear about negative things about teachers in public schools, but, considering what they are up against, we don't give (at least many of) them enough credit. Tony Danza honestly describes what went through his mind during his interactions with the students and other teachers and admits his flaws, mistakes, and vulnerability. I could tell that Tony Danza himself had some great passionate teachers. He is a great narrator by the way. Many of the scenes made me cry (and I almost never cry listening to audiobooks).
I would listen again because of his connection with his students.
I don't think there was one memorable moment but many that built on each other to point out the importance of education and how each individual, both students and teachers have strength and dignity to share with each other.
It made me do both. Tony Danza shared the realities of the classroom and a teacher's struggle to reach each student very well.
I was glad that we heard Tony Danza's own voice telling this story.
Hearing Tony talk with that trademark accent. You can just picture him sitting across from you sharing his experience.
None, this was unique because Tony's experience was unique.
Tony himself. I love the honesty he tells the story with. And I love how he refused to semi-script his reality show, even at the risks that were presented as a result.
I laugh at his story telling, I cried with him many times. His soft heart is so admirable!
Anyone who has been in the teaching profession or even knows someone in the teaching profession will love this book. It is so relatable. Plus, who DOESN'T love Tony Danza?!
Tony Danza captures in this book the desire that I have now at a midpoint of my life. I also am changing careers and becoming a teacher after a career in another field. Mr. Danza captures the desire and drive that makes a person try to do something new at a older time in their life. Also, he captures why teaching is so incredibly important and a worthwhile endeavor even though it is really hard, time consuming, sometimes thankless and sometimes defeating career. Thank you Mr. Danza for giving those that decide to make education a priority a worthwhile career and passion to have at any point in a person's career path. This was my pat on the back every time I listened so I know that the work is worth it. Thank you.
This book is full of extreme reactions! I laughed out loud! I cringed, and cried.
This is a wonderful book for those with teenagers and for those going into teaching or have a question about making a career change especially if it is into teaching.
I would recommend this audiobook to my friends...especially those who work in education. It felt good to hear someone "outside" of the field validate teaching as a profession. Mr. Danza was so intuitive about issues and constraints that teachers are faced with. As a teacher, I felt "respected" by Tony Danza merely by the choice of my career and dedication to it. I also enjoyed his fun ideas in the classroom. :)
Of course, Tony Danza! He was an inspiration...creative, caring, passionate, and dedicated.
...the scenes where he shared innovative ideas for getting his students excited about learning
...not necessarily, but I found I couldn't wait to listen to more
I haven't read the book but I think Mr. Danza's performance lent some personality to the audiobook that the paper version would not have conveyed.
Tony Danza has a unique and recognizable voice so his reading gave of his own story became more personal.
Some laughter, some sadness, lot's of appreciation for the truly gifted and dedicated educators in our world.
If you have any love of learning and value teachers, this book is worth the credit.
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