Like many people working in a creative field, I considered applying to Teach for America to support my burgeoning career with a teacher's salary. Instead, I went for working in the music business while I toiled away in my writing and performing.
I know I made the right decision, simply because teaching is one of the most challenging jobs in America. (No offense, music biz.) Teaching high school students? Forget it.
Which is why even though I don't love the idea of taking students' lives and turning them into a reality show, I'm so impressed with Tony Danza for stepping into a classroom and trying to make a difference.
Tonight on A&E you can check out the TAXI and Who's the Boss? star way out of his element in a Philadelphia high school. Whether trying to teach his kids about mythology or fighting the swine flu, Danza looks as real as any other enthusiastic teacher I've had.
In other words, he's exactly as effective as your regular high school teacher. For some kids, that's great, others, it's kind of a failure. Which makes for great television, if you care about the current state of education in America.
The largest high school in Philadelphia is a great place to start the discussion of the problems of our nation's schools. Tony Danza is shining a light with his celebrity (that most likely his students only know about thanks to their parents) on overcrowded, stagnant models of public education.
At the same time, Danza is trying. He's really trying.
It's fascinating stuff.
Are you going to watch Teach tonight?
Image via A&E