Tony Danza’s I’d like to apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had

 

Photo Credit: Thinkfactory Media/Barbara Johnston

Book Review: I’d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had, by Tony Danza

“Never smile before Christmas…They will eat you alive.” This advice, given to countless new teachers for decades, is given to Tony Danza as he starts his next adventure as an educator. Danza’s warm banter makes me feel I have a front row seat in his classroom and to his dramatic moments—crying over classroom poor performance (his), enthusiasm for team sports (staying in Philly instead of returning to Los Angeles for Thanksgiving), encouraging other teachers in a talent show, and field trips to Washington DC and New York City. Extravadanza, the student run show, raises money for the crisis in Haiti—at every step you can hear Danza engaging students in their own learning.

His obvious extras — products of filming a reality television show in the classroom — like air conditioning, wifi, windows, and unlimited Xeroxing, are not to be taken lightly when considering public school teaching. Having and sharing YouTube and even the movie version “Of Mice and Men” do make a difference. Resources are a huge issue in teaching, and Danza does discuss how teaching 150 students well requires a superhuman effort on the part of educators. I loved learning about his rap songs, poetry contests, and ways to connect modern day kids to Shakespeare. Having daily feedback from a competent mentor is something that would help any teacher improve. He was lucky to be in a school with Small Learning Communities (SLC); like Danza, I got much assistance from this group when I taught 8th grade. Not every school has them, but you can see from his examples that SLC can be a lifeline for a drowning first year teacher.

Click here to read the FULL REVIEW at Wandering Educators.

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a television host, travel journalist as well as a passionate artist, educator and writer who has explored 101 countries, 6 continents and sailed on cruise ships for seven years on the high seas and backpacked for three years in Asia. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which was read in 212 countries in 2018 and named #3 on the top 1000 Travel Blog and the top female travel blogger 3 times in 2019. Find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over one million views on her YouTube channel. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on both Twitter and Facebook, has over 150,000 followers across social media and ran fifteen travel competitions publishing over 2500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. She has been a finalist for six Southern California Journalism Awards in the past three years and won an award for her Jewish Journal article. Niver has written for AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres (United Airlines), Jewish Journal, Luxury Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Myanmar Times, National Geographic, POPSUGAR, Robb Report, Saturday Evening Post, Scuba Diver Life, Sierra Club, Ski Utah, Smithsonian, Trivago, USA Today 10best, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave Rebel: 50 Scary Challenges Before 50,” about her most recent travels and challenges. Look for her underwater SCUBA diving, in her art studio making ceramics or helping people find their next dream trip. http://lisaniver.com/one-page/

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