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I'd Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had: My Year as a Rookie Teacher at Northeast High

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  2,628 ratings  ·  546 reviews
I’d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had is television, screen and stage star Tony Danza’s absorbing account of a year spent teaching tenth-grade English at Northeast High -- Philadelphia’s largest high school with 3600 students.

Entering Northeast’s crowded halls in September of 2009, Tony found his way to a classroom filled with twenty-six students who were dete
ebook, 272 pages
Published September 11th 2012 by Crown Archetype (first published January 1st 2012)
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Benjamin Thomas
I've always liked Tony Danza and I know I'm not alone in that sentiment. It's not just the characters we've seen him play but somehow he's always seemed "genuine". Now I've never been a teacher but I've certainly been a student for a whole lot of years and I've been a parent to two children who have made it through the school system successfully. I've had ample opportunity to observe teachers in action and have always felt a reverence for them and what they do.

This book is a great portrayal of w
Rachel Watkins
Jun 26, 2012 Rachel Watkins rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: public school teachers, education reform geeks, teachers, parents
Recommended to Rachel by: Random House rep
Shelves: arc
As an education reform nerd and public school advocate and volunteer who is closely monitoring the defunding of public schools on a legislative level across the U.S., this book hit close to home. I taught school before NCLB and things are so different now. I appreciated Mr. Danza's humility and deep dedication to his students during his one year teaching experiment. The epilogue is full of insightful commentary based on his experience in a Philadelphia h.s. I agree with this statement wholeheart ...more
If you're my age [1], the first thing you think about when you hear Tony Danza's name is the show Who's The Boss? Honestly, I remember nearly nothing about that show except that it was set in Connecticut (which I only remember because that's where I was living when it was on) and that Danza played some kind of live-in... servant? Housekeeper? For a divorced career woman?

Hold on, let me check Wikipedia to see if I even got that much right.

I did? Oh, good.

Anyway, Danza kind of slipped out of my cu
Dear Mr. Danza,

My daughter walked into the living room while I was reading the scene about you sitting with a student while she wrote a letter to her mother, a letter that revealed some of the abhorrent things she had suffered in her life at home. I was weeping openly, touched by your tenacity, your sensitivity, and your admission that you thought it might have been better not to have known the truth.

The scene so completely paralleled an experience I had during my first year as a middle school t
I picked up this book for a couple of reasons. As a librarian in a small town with a small crop of kids who have been acting up increasingly lately, I felt I could benefit from a story of a self-proclaimed "rookie teacher" with only an inkling of how to actually teach, and how to reach and relate to high school kids. That's not to say Tony Danza was born yesterday; he has a degree in history and wanted to become a teacher before he became a boxer (!!) and then an actor. I admire him for taking s ...more
Two things about me that you may need to know for this review to make sense. I am unemployed high school special education teacher who desperately wants to have my own classroom again. I don’t watch reality tv shows. Almost ever. (I did enjoy “Queer Eye,” but not religiously and that was a long time ago.) If that means I don’t know anything about the Kardashians, or non- professional singers or dancers, or a family of polygamists, that’s usually fine with me.

Amazon Vine provided a paragraph blu
This is Tony Danza's book about teaching one class during one academic year in a public school in Philly, while trying to film a reality show about it that didn't really take off.

His celebrity definitely shines a light on urban public education, though I'd hardly call his experience legit, since he only taught one class for one year. To be fair, he repeats this throughout the book to credit his colleagues, who taught five.

Personally, I get annoyed by aggrandizing people who teach for a year and
This book is surprisingly tedious and uninspiring. While Danza tries to claim to inspire children in a Philadelphia high school, he comes across as kind of clueless and even at times dumb. From not following school rules to getting an alcoholic drink while chaperoning kids on a school field trip to improperly giving students extra time on a standardize test, he indicts himself as a guy whose heart may be in the right place but his head doesn't get how to teach.

Danza tries his best to convince us
This was a very interesting book which chronicles a year of the life of Tony Danza as he teaches High school English. I enjoyed checking it out.
I really loved this book. I used to be a teacher, so I think that has a lot to do with it, & since I'm still in the public school system (as a secretary) this book really hit home. I've always loved Tony Danza, so it was fun reading about him as a teacher. Yes - he only taught 2 class periods of high school English each day, and he had lots of help from mentors within the school, an assistant, etc. (so not your typical teacher) but it showed how much blood, sweat & tears goes into teachi ...more
Noran Azmy
Tony Danza is one of the underrated people of our time, really. Most of my generation, and the following ones, probably missed his hit sitcoms like "Who's the Boss", but back in the eighties he was quite the celebrity. And such he might still be, if he were the kind of person that puts the demands of his pocket before his principles. It annoys me when I'm reminded how old he is; I wish our generation had celebrities of that caliber.

Out of a strong passion for teaching, Danza signs up to teach fo
I used to always love Tony Danza on Taxi, so when I saw teachers recommending this book I had to get it from the library. Turns out his teaching career for a year was exactly what I did -- 10th grade literature. What's not to like, right? Well, unfortunately, sometimes warts and all memoirs do not a good story make. Here's my take on the strengths and weaknesses of this book.

The good:

- He has a teacher's heart. It's in the right place because he really does care about the kids and wants them to
I was intrigued when I saw the ads for this book, because I’ve always found Tony to be a likable guy, and somehow I missed the A&E series when it aired. I wasn’t aware that before he was sidetracked by boxing, then acting, that he’d planned to be a teacher.

I ended up with new-found respect for him. I wouldn’t voluntarily spend 5 minutes in a high school classroom-- even a wealthy suburban one--and he stuck it out for the whole year in inner city Philly even after the tv crew deserted him.

I can't really explain how much I enjoyed this book. It's not deep, lasting literature and I wouldn't recommend it to everyone, but reading someone's perspective on education was close to home for me. Tony Danza, the actor from the 80s sitcom "Who's the Boss?", that show with the randy old lady and where Alyssa Milano's hair was it's own character, finds his acting career fading and his personal life slowly falling apart. He confides in a friend that he is considering becoming a teacher. It had ...more
Relative to other hero-teacher memoirs, Mr. Danza's story is far less obnoxious and unbelievable than, say, "The Freedom Writer's Diary." This is, in part, because Danza acknowledges that his far-from-realistic teaching load (a single class of 30 students!) and the incredible incentives he can afford (trips to NYC! DC! Flip video cameras! Copies of Twilight for everyone!) are not available to all teachers. Danza focuses instead on the difficulties and complex demands that teachers face on a dail ...more
When I started listening to this book I had some misgivings about what he would say about teaching, being a retired teacher myself. But I really enjoyed it. Granted, he only taught one class of twenty-six sophomores in high school for a "double period", meaning 90 minutes, but he does address that, giving his admiration to teachers who teach many classes with 150 students. In my school make that 220 to 240 students. His small numbers allowed him to become involved in the lives of his students in ...more
This was an awesome book. A few years ago I saw one half of an episode of the reality/documentary that this book is based on. I've always been a big fan of Tony Danza as an all-around good guy. I appreciate him so much more now. The book documents his year as a real teacher at Northeast High School in Philadelphia. I was interested in this because the school has many local connections to my family. My niece graduated from NEHS, and my husband went to a competing school and regularly played them ...more
Tony Danza's memoir chronicles his year as a newbie teacher in a tough, inner-city high school in Philadelphia. How tough? There's a police station IN THE SCHOOL, complete with holding cell, where Danza goes to retrieve his students more than once (though to be fair, one time it's because a kid was the victim of a walk-by punching). The writing is not brilliant, but it serves more than adequately as a platform for Danza's greatest appeal, his good heart and his naked honesty as he surges through ...more
Krista Novak
I liked this book. Danza's take on the PSSAs were great. However, he only taught one class. Not exactly a true reflection of a teachers schedule.
Chris Webb

I’d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had is television, screen and stage star Tony Danza’s absorbing account of a year spent teaching tenth-grade English at Northeast High -- Philadelphia’s largest high school with 3600 students.

Entering Northeast’s crowded halls in September of 2009, Tony found his way to a classroom filled with twenty-six 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

Why would a Hollywood Star take a year off acting and teach at an inner city high school? Because he truly cares about kids, wants to make a difference and his personal life isn't going all that great at the time. He needs to figure out some things about himself and so he tells some friends his plan and next thing he knows A&E is wanting to tape a reality show. They only taped for the first semester and some wrap up so he had some time teaching with cameras and some not. People thought he wo ...more
Jul 26, 2012 Kurt rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kurt by: Amazon Vine
This book is exactly what you expect. Tony Danza spends a year teaching high school English in Philadelphia and endured the emotional struggles that accompany the job, all while filming a reality program based on his experience. Danza's heart is out on his sleeve throughout the book, as he openly shares his shortcomings along with his successes, and the tone is warm and conversational. If Danza comes across as a bit out of touch for the first half of the memoir, that's an annoying but honest pre ...more
On the one hand, he drops a "Who's the Boss" pun within the first paragraph (which is basically all I ever wanted from this book). But on the other hand, he actually has some interesting insights on the state of the education system, which is valuable as he is a public figure who has a pulpit (i.e. this book) and also at least some experience in an actual classroom. I am left with the impression that he was a pretty decent teacher, though not an amazing one, and that he definitely made a differe ...more
Sue Seligman
Oct 06, 2012 Sue Seligman rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in education or in Tony Danza
Recommended to Sue by: saw his interview
I have always enjoyed Tony Danza on TV...Taxi and Who's the Boss were some of my favorite shows back in the 1980s and 1990s. Now I find out he is a born teacher and writer...who knew? He informs us that he had always wanted to be a teacher, but his boxing career, which got him out of trouble as a youth, and his acting career happened first. After his talk show was cancelled, he decided to give teaching a try, and signed on to a year of teaching high school English in a large Philadelphia school. ...more
Tatiana Gomez
This was a tough read for me.
I think this book is intended for those who are unaware of the state of education today in failing school districts--parents who have children long out of school, or who settle in the suburbs, or those adults who don't have children at all. In that case, this book is a great introduction to the world of the modern-day teacher, who is expected to fulfill multiple important roles in the lives of children who desperately need it, but who is also living under the stress
Bonnie Faust
I loved the book not only because I think my personality is similar to Danza's (wanting to make a difference, save the world, a little too idealistic for my own good!) but for the honesty. I'm also a career-change teacher who can honestly say that I have never worked harder in my life than I did my first year teaching. And that was in a middle class suburban high school in the community where I grew up and still reside.

Teaching (the actual lessons) are the easy part. Sadly, that's the tiniest p
When you read this book, it feels like Tony Danza is standing in front of you, telling you his stories. And, boy, does he have some stories to tell about his year as a rookie teacher in an inner city high school. As a former teacher myself, there are times I wanted to shake him, and tell him to "get a clue," especially in his frantic first few lessons with his students. But I think any teacher can relate to the terror of standing in front of a group of adolescents, and feeling like a fake and a ...more
Allison  Junkans
I was a little skeptical when I heard Tony Danza was going to teach in Philadelphia public schools. I never watched the TV show, so this is the first time I got to hear about it. I am very impressed with Tony Danza. First, the book was well written and so honest. I do not think I would want to write that honestly about my first year teaching. Secondly, celebrities rarely walk in other people's shoes. Tony really got to experience what being a teacher is like. He clearly recognized that his exper ...more
Brian Walker
ehhh?!:? Couldn't tell if he was trying to be an actor or an educator. You can't shoot a film for Hollywood in your class and at the same time tell your audience that American values as illustrated on television sets students up for failure in the schools. You are part of the problem. Mr. Danza was allowed only one class of students for one bell - hardly a portrait of what a real teacher endures. He never really explained if he completed a degree in teacher education, obtained certificates, or s ...more
Who knew I could like a book by Tony Danza? I wasn't sure I would even find it interesting at all when it was given to me as a gift. What could he possibly have to say to me, a longtime teacher, about his diletante year as a teacher in a Philadelphia high school?

I was wrong. As a teacher, I found the book true to life and very touching. Danza found the essence of teaching, which is love; he experiences the trials of teaching, which are myriad, and he did a darn good job during his year though
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Perhaps best known for starring on some of television’s most beloved and long-running series, including Taxi (1978–1983) and Who’s the Boss (1984–1992), Tony Danza has also established himself as a stage and screen star, and he is indisputably one of America’s most iconic performers.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Danza received a wrestling scholarship to the University of Dubuque in Iowa, where he e
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“And whether or not the educators who are trying to raise up America's students can actually set and meet higher academic standards, our cultural values make their job next to impossible. It's so much easier for pundits and politicians to point out figures and blame the people who are in the trenches every day than it is to get in there with them, or even to find out what actually goes on in those trenches. It's so much easier for parents to blame teachers when their kids get in trouble than to do the heavy lifting required at home to keep kids on track. And it's so much easier for us as a nation to cross our fingers and hope that we'll "get lucky" with the innovative "solutions" being tested on America's schools today than it is for us to roll up our sleeves and invest our own time, talent, and money in the schools that are even now-- with or without us-- shaping our nation's future.” 6 likes
“No one ever seems to question why the burden is all on the teacher to do the engaging, when we ask so little of the students, or for that matter, their parents.” Her vehemence startled me. “I never thought of it that way,” I told her. “No,” she said, not unkindly. “But I promise, you will.” 1 likes
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