Summary: Tony Danza’s memoir of his year teaching 10th grade English at Philadelphia’s Northeast High School.
My thoughts: Despite the unique circumstance of simultaneously filming his classroom for the A&E reality series “Teach,” the story of Danza’s year really is the story of every new teacher. We have all suffered the same self-doubt, shed the same tears, and celebrated the same small successes. It’s gratifying (if not slightly surprising) to find the emotional, intellectual, physical, and social challenges and rewards of our job captured so honestly and vividly in the pages of this charming and touching book. Danza emerges as a real softy, perpetually on the brink of tears, either from frustrating classroom gaffes, emotional exchanges with his students, or embarrassing reprimands from administrators. It’s a testament to the power of his prose that, while reading, I found my eyes brimming, too (when I wasn’t chuckling at some of Danza’s novice missteps, recounted with refreshing honesty). Toward the end of the book my own tears finally fell in response to two words: “Our Atticus,” a tribute given by Danza’s students on the last day of school.
Recommend I’d Like to Apologize to teachers, both veteran and novice, or students who would enjoy a peek inside the faculty lounge.