That class that was driving me nuts?
As much as I hated doing it, as much as it felt like a failure in my ability to develop connections with the kids, all the documenting and phone calling and consequences have finally paid off. At least for one day. But it actually felt like a normal class today – I didn’t have to threaten, they didn’t push my buttons. I let them work in groups on a What I Know, assignment, and they actually quietly worked together to come up with examples and solutions, raised their hands and politely asked for help when they got stuck, and as soon as one of them had their memories jogged enough they eagerly explained their knowledge to the others in their group. Polite and productive, it was a pleasure to work with them.
That turn around is one of the reasons I love middle school.