Tony Danza would like to apologize to every teacher he ever had, according to a new book written by the actor from Taxi and Who’s the Boss?, which talks about his experiences teaching a classroom of 10th graders for one year.
According to The Washington Post, Danza’s prose-based autobiography about teaching makes you feel like you’ve put yourself into one of those weird student desks for an experience with the actor in the classroom.
It certainly puts a different perspective on teachers, who tend to be typecasted with tweeds, dusty lab coats, and hands perpetually covered in chalk dust. The memoir takes a little time to get used to, seeing as Danza is not the typical teacher.
While Danza’s show Teach: Tony Danza was cut halfway though its first season, the premise of the book talks about the TV gig and Danza’s loss, including how he struggles through a difficult family situation, and finally decides to make up for past transgressions against his former teachers, as well as his earlier and more reckless self.
Tony Danza ends up experiencing crisis in the midst of break-dancing students, brawling girls, and a boy who can’t seem to keep his hands to himself at a high school where students pass through a metal detector every morning.
Danza, in an overwhelmed state, solicits input from his fellow teachers, including an older woman who has been teaching for decades. The Taxi actor writes:
“They offer advice and tell me what they believe it takes to be a good teacher. ‘You have to be prepared to play many roles,’ says an older woman who’s been teaching for decades. ‘You have to be a mother, father, sister, brother, social worker, counselor, friend and anything else they need.””
The New York Daily News notes that Danza stated of his experience:
“There are very few things that are harder than being a teacher in any public school in America. It’s a job that requires total commitment at the expense of just about everything else in your life.”
Danza went on to say:
“A teacher needs to be a lot of things to these kids — not only an educator, but a mother, a father, a sister, a brother, a best friend and a social worker. And a lot of teachers aren’t prepared for that. They come to teach the curriculum and inspire kids who want to learn, but there are a lot of kids who have a lot of difficulties that keep them from learning.”
How would you like to have Tony Danza as your teacher?