I don’t want to overstate this.
It’s not as if I was an Attila the Hun-like teacher before COVID-19 and teaching on Zoom. But it is undeniable — I’m a better professor today than I was a year ago.
Why? Because a year of isolation has made all of us much more aware of the burdens we carry, and of the psychic toll that young people, in particular, are under. It has made me much more appreciative not just of the challenges they face, but also of the silent grace with which they bear them. It has made me marvel at their good cheer, made me notice their laughter and their lovely fragility, even more.