In the end, Tony says he was able to give the students what they needed. "I think one of the things that 10th grade offers you is a chance to teach a lot of life lessons in the midst of all the Mockingbird and Julius Caesar," he says.
Some of his former students say "Mr. Danza" taught them more than poetry and classic literature. "He's like a friend that you never had before, because he cares so much about people," one student says.
Another student says Tony helped her learn to speak up. "I would sit in the back and not ask for help and just get lost," she says. "But then he taught me that it's not bad to ask for help."
Watch what Tony's former students had to say about their year with Mr. Danza.
This sitcom star was even able to win over Linda Carroll, the principal of Northeast High School and one of Tony's toughest critics. "You may be able to tap dance. You may be able to sing, but you're not a teacher until our students are learning," Principal Carroll says.
When the school year came to a close, Linda says Tony had earned the title of "teacher.""For passion, he'd get an A plus," she says. "I have no doubt that he could go on and be an outstanding educator."
The school year may have ended, but the lessons remain. "It really was something very special," Tony says. "I got to be there and work as hard as I ever worked. I met students that I'll never forget, and teachers I'll look up to for the rest of my life."