Today at lunch one of my students was saying how he was going to find a kid from another class after school to beat him up. Apparently the other kid has squirted water from his mouth at Brandon (my student). The whole lunch they were instigating each other from across the tables and my student was getting heated and preparing to fight. I'm not sure where it came from, but all of a sudden I felt very protective of Brandon and I didn't want to see him make a wrong choice that could also get him in trouble. When lunch ended and the kids were getting dismissed to go to after school or go home, Brandon was trying to quickly get out of the lunchroom and stalking after the other kid. I had to almost forcibly hold him to slow him down and it took me and my friend (the TFA teacher of the student he wanted to fight) to veer him from the path and hold him back as we tried to calm him down.
And on a similar note, I had my first successful parent phone call home today. I was calling parents just to check in with them, and only one really answered: Yusuf's mother, one of my favorite students. I told her that he was trying really hard in class, was doing his best, and did very good on his reading homework that he had passed in this morning. I told her to make sure he kept up with the reading I was sending home. It was great to see how responsive she sounded and I can only hope she keeps on him, because he's one of the lowest level students in the class.
One last thing: I absolutely love my small reading group. We all put our hands in today so they would promise they would read the little text I was sending them home with. And it's really in these small groups that you can see students trying their best and really get to know them.