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Author of the week: Tony Danza

Give actor Tony Danza credit for hanging tough.

Give actor Tony Danza credit for hanging tough, said Jacob E. Osterhout in the New York Daily News. When the plug was pulled on his A&E reality show about teaching in a Philadelphia public high school, the rookie educator didn’t quit on his students midyear. In his new book, I’d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had, the 61-year-old former star of Taxi and Who’s the Boss? describes sticking with the volunteer gig as an English teacher even though his two-decade marriage was ending and each day in the classroom presented new challenges. “There are very few things harder than being a high school teacher in America,” he says. It “requires total commitment at the expense of just about everything else in your life.”

Despite the rewards of the work, Danza eventually declined an invitation to teach a second year, said Lori Fradkin in HuffingtonPost.com. He says that worrying every day about the emotional and educational needs of 150 10th-graders was just too overwhelming. “One of the first things a teacher said to me was, ‘You’ve gotta be a mother, father, brother, sister, a teacher, a social worker, a best friend,’” Danza says. “It’s draining.” When the school’s principal, Linda Carroll, asked him to return in September, he considered it “the ultimate compliment.” But he also recalls that the decision wasn’t difficult. “I said, ‘I love you dearly. I love everybody here, but at this age, I’m not sure I want to care this much about anything.’ I mean, other than my own children.”

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