I watched the show premiere tonight and here are some quick thoughts about Teach: Tony Danza:
First, I have to give Mr. Danza credit for making the effort and taking on a teacher’s role, especially in an urban public school. It takes a lot of courage to not only go after one’s dreams, but also to take on something this big and significant with limited preparation and training. That opening back-to-school scene was mortifying! I found myself cringing and shrinking away from the TV as he fumbled through his opening speeches; it is certainly a new teacher’s worst nightmare, being too nervous and looking like an idiot in front of everybody.
Second, I am in love with the teachers, the administrators, the parents, and the students of Northeast HS. They are a bunch of tough cookies! It is good to see real, down-to-earth people who see and say things like it is. It is also definitely good to see students giving tough, but honest and critical feedback and that they take their education seriously. It is a reminder to us all that students want to learn and to be challenged; it reminds us to take a good hard look at what we’re doing in the classroom and ask ourselves if we are meeting and surpassing those needs.
To be honest, I didn’t want to watch the show. I thought it was just yet another celebrity putting his own spin on education. While I believe this show is mostly about Danza and not so much about urban education, I did appreciate his efforts and the fact that the show shed some light over some of the challenges of teaching. I’ll probably end up watching the whole series, so I guess I’ll have to wait and see how I feel about Teach: Tony Danza after a few more episodes in.