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.
...for telling our story with heart, truth, and passion. And for reminding us teachers that we are not alone in our struggle on behalf of our students.
I bought this a while back and never listened to it. When I finally did I finished It in one sitting. It was a great story and I love when famous people take the time to narrate their books themselves.
a terrific, touching account of teaching in an inner city school. made better by being read by the author. a must read/listen for teachers and students.
True multitasking is "reading" a book while walking, running, kayaking, doing chores, gardening, driving or just drifting off to sleep.
There was a TV series a few years back called "Teach! Tony Danza" It was a riveting show about Tony's year as a teacher in a Philadelphia school. The show was only 6 episodes and I knew that there was more to this story so I was really pleased to find this book.
I also taught high school for a year in a school that was very similar to the one Tony taught in. With a Master's in Education I was supposedly better prepared for the experience, but what I see is that Tony had that quality that I lacked as a young teacher. He is calm. He in fact said something that I have not forgotten since I read this book:
Tony said, "have the courage to be calm."
Well he has the courage, not only to be calm but to really care for the students as well. He is a talented man and a beautiful soul. And this is a heartfelt expression of his love for the students. It turns out that Tony always wanted to be a teacher, except that this career in television (and before that boxing) got in his way. Now he finally gets the chance to see what he was missing all those years.
It is touching and humorous in equal parts. It is narrated by Tony and he does a great job with that as well.
I enjoyed listening to the story of "Mr. Danza". Skepticism gave way as the stories of the student, teachers and Tony's experience progressed. Tony's drive and dedication shone through as did the apparent results.
An interesting insight into people who care in a system that sometimes seems not to.
A light interesting listen that was worth the time.
Teachers are always looking for inspiration. Maybe someone can find it in this book, but I quit reading it after it about 90 minutes because it was more about Danza fulfilling a desire in front of a camera than about teaching.
I like Tony Danza from his television shows. I am a public school educator and am happy to hear that someone acknowledged the challenges of our students and teachers .
I enjoyed listening but probably wouldn't listen to the whole book again. There were some commentaries on the experience of teaching that I might want to go back and listen to again since I'm an educator and could related to those experiences.
It seemed like a cross between "Up the Down Staircase" and "Welcome Back Kotter" in the way it was presented. I had never seen the reality TV show that he speaks about in the book so to me that was just background.
I was interested in the book because I attended that particular Philadelphia HS back in the late 60's. I particularly enjoyed descriptions of his experiences at locations I could imagine both inside the school and in the surrounding community which has change a lot since my teen years growing up there. In addition, the student body of the school has become much more diversified, much more like the community college where I teach, so I could relate to some of his experiences with the students and his own comments regarding how much teens have changed or remained the same.
Certainly I felt inspired when he followed through on his commitment to teaching for the whole school year.
I don't know if everyone would enjoy this as much as I did but educators might enjoy his unique perspective of life in the trenches of public education.
Really high up on my list
The author, Tony Danza
The author, Tony Danza
I ready about the reviews for this book 5 STARS! It lived up to my expectations and more. I really wish that Tony Danza would write and read another book. He is so fun/funny and has a great voice. I am going into my first year of teaching and I really enjoyed hearing his experiences. Now I am very interested in his show 'Teach.' Hopefully it's on Netflix!
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