Tony Danza: New Book Details Life As A Teacher

    September 10, 2012
    Amanda Crum
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Tony Danza knew that when he left acting behind, he wanted to do something meaningful. After a failed talk show attempt in New York, he decided to go back to the thing which had once made him happy and had been number one on his list of career choices before the acting bug bit him: teaching.

Now, in a new book titled “I’d Like To Apologize To Every Teacher I Ever Had”, Danza talks about his experiences in the classroom and gets candid about the reality show he tried to get off the ground but couldn’t find the right tone for.

Danza earned a teaching degree many years ago and decided to put it to good use in 2009, when he landed a job teaching English at Philadelphia’s Northeast High School. He wanted to share the experience with the world and pitched the idea of a reality show to A&E, where he wanted to portray the world of classroom learning and the real lives of his students with a keen eye towards showing the pressures kids face every day.

“The kind of show I envisioned would be risky for the network, but I was convinced that the real lives of real kids combined with my hyperreal flop sweat as a novice teacher would make for more than enough drama,” Danza wrote in the book. “Responsible reality. That actually had a good ring to it.”

Unfortunately for Danza, the show–called “Teach”–was poorly received even before it began, with some critics accusing him of leaning on teen drama and exploiting children in the interest of jumpstarting his career. Even though the show was picked up by the network, it lasted only seven episodes. Still, Danza stayed on through the rest of the school year after filming ended and was fervent in his commitment to the students. “I’d Like To Apologize To Every Teacher I Ever Had” is the story of his time with those kids, what it meant to him to fulfill his promise, and how sometimes reality is better than television reality.

  • http://Yahoo Ray

    Having been a teacher, retired now, it was with great plesure that your story evinced good memories of my days in the educational world, and Mr. Danza deserves credit for his perseverance whether or not his tv episodes made it to the top–it doesn’t matter, it made it to the top for me. Congratulations Mr. Danza!

  • Kathy

    LOVED that show. So sad it ended abruptly. Tony Danza is so lovable and kind. You could tell he cared SO DEEPLY for those children. Wish we could have seen the entire year. Shame on A&E.

  • Christina

    I LOVED the show Teach. I wish Tony would come back for another season. It was really enlighting and totally entertaining.

  • Vincent Ferrigno

    I love tony, and loved him on taxi, and i did watch his TV talk show, didn’t matter if anyone else liked it, i did…But, His wanting to be teacher and make it reality show, is somewhat risky, even though the kids would love the attention, but, out in the world, not sure…I just wish he would act again

  • Grace

    I remember watching Who’s the boss as a kid and thinking “WOW” the man is in the kitchen. I love Tony Danza, always will.

  • Jan

    I can go back even farther with watching Tony . . . on a very funny show called “Taxi”. I will definitely read his book, and I give him HUGE credit for finishing out the year. I’m sure those students benefitted from their time with him.

    • Barry

      I went to Northeast HIgh School in Philly – I’m a 1972 grad. Shame he didn’t teach when I was there. Good luck and allthe best to a really fine actor and gentleman.

  • Karon

    Tony Danza has class. To finish out the school year proved he was not in it to jump start his career. Would like to see him on the screen again…TV OR MOVIES…in something decent.

  • Maria

    The talk show Tony had was fabulous & he was so excited that the networks had picked it up for another year, then the axe came when Oprah decided she wanted her new prodigy Rachel Ray to have her own show & Tony got knocked out. More recently I thought Tony would be the perfect Regis replacement, but perhaps the same network would rather keep it’s distance from Tony. Great guy & we wish him further success in whatever he chooses!