It’s a holiday weekend, and I have a little more time on my hands than usual. I wanted to get away, but that didn’t quite work out. So, I decided to spend a little more time on the computer than I normally do, and I came across this article about Tony Danza, teacher. Now I use the word “teacher” lightly, very, very, lightly. This article was posted in September 2010, but I think it’s relevant to what people think of teachers.
The network decided to do a reality series called, “Teach”. They think and they think, and someone says, “I know who we could get!?” “Tony Danza!” Seriously? Not one of the Teacher of the Year candidates? They didn’t think of me? Or any of the millions of hard-working, talented, teachers that work diligently every day of their lives?
“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.” Hmmm… What conclusion can we draw? What a farce! He “taught” so that he could get paid to be on television. Is this a person you would want teaching your kids for a year? What a waste of a school year! I would love to know how he was held accountable.
“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.” I want to throw up! I’m crying now Tony, thinking about all those high school kids who probably dropped out because they had you as a “teacher” for a whole year. If he was so heartbroken, why isn’t he still “teaching?”
“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.)” This sums it up. This is what people think of our profession, we are just warm bodies in the room. Why did I bother to go to school and get my BS and my MS? I should have become an actor, have someone offer me a reality show, and pretend to teach for a year. I wold have made enough money so that I could quit teaching and go back to my acting career.
Then I read the comments. They praised Tony for his committment to these students. Here’s an example of a comment from one of his fans. “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.” I couldn’t have written a better definition of a good teacher myself. (Sarcasm intended)
“Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition” Jaques Barzun
Tony Danza Has a New Teaching Job (article)