As I get ready to go back to school tomorrow after the holiday break, I’m hoping for a little less doing and a lot more observing in my teaching. I often get so caught up in the constant goings-on of English class that I entirely miss the magic of what’s actually sitting in front of me. Some mysteriously wise teenagers come to my room each day and make thoughts that have never been made before, and yet I often fail to notice it because of my obsession with doing this, that, and the other supposedly essential step in my lesson. The students bring their matchless lives to each class, lives full of uncommon feelings and undisclosed dreams, and yet to me, at least sometimes, they might as well be cardboard statues. I’m so busy “doing” that I have no time for taking a good look at the lives I’m entrusted with for 48 minutes each day. Maybe in this new year I can do away with some of my needless doing and open my eyes more often to the little daily wonders that inevitably come with teaching teenagers.