Author: Tony Danza
Date Started: February 27, 2014 Date Finished: March 2, 2014
Number of Pages: 272 Total Pages for 2014: 5,446
What It’s About: Before he was a boxer or an actor, Tony Danza wanted to be a teacher. On the heels of a failed talk show, Tony decides to begin a third act career of sorts. He wants to teach in an inner city school. A&E signs on for a reality show that will showcase complex issues in inner city education as Mr. Danza signs on to teach students who have never heard of him before in a Philadelphia High School. He teaches one period of tenth grade English. He wrestles with engaging the students, teaching them complicated curriculum in ways that are creative and exciting. He mentors tough kids, works long hours, allows for debate, ties the literature he’s sharing with current social justice issues, does his best to befriend and mollify fellow teachers and principals, learns about his own shortcomings as a teacher, friend, father and husband and keeps the students first even when the reality show threatens to go belly-up. This book features students who are smart, creative and kind, willing to learn and hopeful about the world. It features teachers who work hard under tough circumstances when parents aren’t always engaging and students can be tough to reach.
Why I Read It: I like Tony Danza! And his willingness to teach for a year and passion for reaching students was something I could relate to, even though I’m not a school teacher.