Early Revelations of Great Teachers

Award-winning professors recall moments that made them better in the classroom

Early in his career, William R. (Buzz) Alexander was teaching an English class when two students, a Vietnam War veteran and a young classmate, got into an angry verbal confrontation over the veteran's war experiences. Anxious to keep things under control, Mr. Alexander silenced their argument.

After the class, he says, the two students came up to him separately to say that his intervention had not