Mr. Danza arrives at Northeast High School in Philadelphia and meets most of the faculty, including his teaching advisor, David Cohn, and ball-busting principal, Linda Carroll, who warns Mr. Danza that if he screws up, he's out. On the first day of school, he meets his diverse class of students, but soon learns that teaching is harder than he realized when one student questions whether or not Mr. Danza is qualified to be teaching anything. And in an attempt to bond with two of his students on the football team, he becomes an assistant coach. He then realizes he knows far less about coaching football than teaching English and questions whether or not he made a mistake becoming a teacher.
After half the class fails their first quiz on "Of Mice and Men," Mr. Danza fears that most of his students aren't doing their work. As a result, he risks legal repercussions when he denies three of his "special needs" students the use of the resource room because he thinks they're being lazy. And to make matters worse, Mr. Danza's brightest student wants to drop out of his English class because he isn't being challenged enough. Pushed to the limit, Tony breaks down in tears.
Feeling homesick after having been away from his family for months, Mr. Danza tries to plan a trip back to California. However, when one of his students in the marching band begs him to help in their band competition, he is torn between his two worlds. Mr. Danza later finds out he's not engaging his class enough after he catches one of his students making intricate origami sculptures. And after the origami artist cries over a failed test, he must meet with the student's strict parents.
As Northeast High School prepares to enact a new school-wide uniform policy, Mr. Danza shows his students that he will support the uniforms by adopting one of his own. And he sees how training some of his students to box turns ugly after two of his students get into a locker room fight with some other kids over a stolen iPod. If Tony wasn't in the doghouse already, one of his other students causes more trouble after he disrespects the assistant principal by giving her a doggy treat.
Mr. Danza is heartbroken after he catches two of his favorite students cheating on a test. To add insult to injury, the two cheaters call his bluff after he assigns them a makeup project. In addition, Mr. Danza must mend a broken friendship between two girls in his class, and deal with student issues when he is recruited to chaperone the homecoming dance.
Mr. Danza gives one student an extension on an essay, but then refuses to allow another student an extension. That student then moves to drop Danza's class. Later, Danza reaches out to a confused student at the school who habitually skips class. And, if that wasn't enough to keep him busy, he also stages a charity show to raise money for a new air conditioner for the school's library.
Teaching is Danza's most challenging and rewarding role.
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