What Makes A Great Teacher?

From my remarks on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s blog “Get Schooled” about the performance, above, by Billy Joel with Vanderbilt University student, Michael Pollock:

“How gracious of Billy Joel to ask the young man’s name – Michael Pollock – and to say Pollock’s name twice to the audience and to the video camera to give the young man a generous plug. Billy Joel has natural qualities that make for a great teacher, i.e. wanting to see one under his influence succeed, being there in the moment with the student’s needs, not being afraid of spontaneous interaction with the student, having the generosity of spirit and the skill to bring out the best in the student, and encouraging the student to “take a chance and fly” on his own.

Btw, having spent nearly seven years of my 20s in NYC, while working and going to school there, I find that I often remain, even today, in a New York state of mind. This song has easily brought that awareness home to me.

Wonderful performance!”

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