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Tony Danza Has a New Teaching Job, Cries "a Lot" in Front of His Students (VIDEO)

by Oliver Miller, posted Sep 28th 2010 12:05AM
Tony Danza Has a New Teaching Job, Cries 'a Lot' in Front of His StudentsActor Tony Danza is the former star of such sitcoms as 'Taxi' and 'Who's the Boss?', but it's been a long time since he had a major hit. (Although he does have his film career as the star of movies like 'Going Ape!' to fall back on.)

However, Tony does have a new reality series coming up: 'Teach' -- which will premiere in October on the A&E Network. It follows a year in the life of Mr. Danza, as he struggles to educate a class of 10th-grade English students. Tony spent a year in Northeast High School in Philadelphia, and this wasn't just a random choice for him.

Before he became an actor, Tony got a bachelor's degree in education. On 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' (weekdays, syndicated), the actor discussed his new temporary career. He talked about what he learned, what his students learned -- and he also mentioned how he got a little weepy.

Yep, Tony was apparently a pretty emotional teacher who cried a lot in front of his students. "One day, I cried over origami," he tells Oprah. Okay, then. You cried over the ancient art of Japanese paper folding, Tony? Oprah tries to figure out what it was about origami that made Tony tear up, but the story is pretty confusing. As far as we can tell, he's just a pretty emotional guy who took his job rather seriously.

Tony talks about not wanting to fail his students, which is often what made him want to tear up. "It just gets to you ... You look over and see a kid bored, a kid with their head down, you go crazy, it breaks your heart. I cried a lot; they made me cry -- because I loved them, I guess."

Aw -- that's very sweet. We would like to bring up only two minor points here. One, even though Tony describes teaching as his "dream job," he only did it for the year that he was paid to be on A&E -- which ... well, you can draw your own conclusions here.

And our second point: After originally being rejected by the New York school system, Danza eventually convinced the folks in Pennsylvania to let him teach. However, he never actually managed to get certified as a real teacher. So he had to have a second "co-teacher" in his classroom, who would observe and monitor him. In addition, because of his lack of certification, Tony only taught two classes a day. (Actual high school teachers have to teach between four and seven classes a day.)

So while we're not denying Tony's passion and his love for his students, we have to wonder if he was 100 percent performing the activities of a real teacher -- or if it was just sort of faked for reality TV purposes. And also, would you want a non-certified actor instructing your kids for an entire year? What do you think? Did Tony do good? Or was it more of a reality-show gimmick?

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Watched the show. Danza is a lousy teacher. He needs to go back to acting and although a mediocre actor, he at least can't do any damage.

November 07 2010 at 6:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

He isn't that bad of a teacher. He is one with a heart. That is how many teachers start. But I have to say the administrators have become hardcore "hard asses". I mean couldn't they have taken the dog biscuit as a joke? I work in education and I am tired of those who are burnt out and should have left years ago. Some of those people should be gone. Remember they are KIDS!!!!

October 29 2010 at 11:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Re: The Origami. I think he said he cried, because of paying attention the young man was making origami. I used to draw pictures in my notebooks. It was nothing against the teachers. I already took notes and knew the material. I was not being challenged. I did not let them see me do it. Some kids today are not being taught manners and respect of elders.

Poor Mr. Danza his heart is huge. People are too cynical. Who says a person who acts can't teach? He's giving it his all, I give him an A+

October 11 2010 at 11:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My daughter's school is in the top 10 in the country and they are not all certified teachers, but they are experts in their field. We have PhD's in science and math TEACHING science and math.

Teacher certification really has nothing to do with who will be a good teacher.

September 29 2010 at 8:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Compassion, common sense,flexibility and a good sense of humor working as a teacher! There are many with Phd's, numerous Master's, yet all those degrees, book smart and no common sense or empathy for the needs of students, you have nothing! Students seem to relate well with honest, caring and respectful teachers, not those that are by the books, strict, no time for listening to their needs and punishing students in crisis, instead of taking that time to find out what the problem may be, and try to help, allowing others in the class a chance to interact and let that student in crisis, know they're not alone! You don't get much done in a classroom when a student is having a crisis and acting out, so it's best to talk with them, not down to them! Yes, it's good to show emotions in front of the students, they'll realize you too are human, teaching them compassion for another and letting them know you do care!

September 28 2010 at 6:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob Bailey

Dr. Danza did an amazing job teaching at NEHS. There was no faking on his part in anything he did. Yes, he only taught two classes a day and he isn't certified. Certification does not make one a qualified teacher. Positively impacting the students, staff, parents, and alumni of a high school community is what makes a great teacher and Mr. Danza was great! Watch TEACH and you will see what a real teacher does, in and out of the classroom.

September 28 2010 at 1:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

A teacher that really cares if his students learn. NOT his paycheck. NOT who is president. NOT his three months off. NOT "How soon is the next "teachers' day?" NOT if he will get a raise, better medical benefits, longer paid vacation, more time off with more pay.

How refreshing!

September 28 2010 at 1:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Teaching is all about knowing the subject matter, a strong desire to help kids learn, an engaging personality, and an ability to discipline. If Tony Danza can do all of that he can teach.

September 28 2010 at 12:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Tony is quailfied to teach, and the students should be happy he is there. he is a good man, and is as nice as any man can be. The students could do a lot worse, than having Tony as their teacher.
I wish him, all the very best in life.
He sure deserves it.

September 28 2010 at 12:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Midori Fushihito

I think I know why Tony cried about the origami; My theory follows: The most well known origami (when teaching it) is the crane. Chances are the book for the origami lesson was "Sadako and the thousand cranes" by Elanor Coerr (sp?). This biography of Sadako Sasaki is very moving, and Tony may have recalled the details while teaching the lesson. Unless Oprah reads that book, she will never understand why he got teary-eyed. I have read it, taught a similar lesson, and I know the reason why.

September 28 2010 at 10:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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