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    You have to have what my professors
    By jwsmith

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    called "withitness". You have to know that while you are teaching at the board that Bobby behind you is getting ready to launch paper, you have to anticipate who will do what. From your post it seems like you already know who usually does what. Call them on it a couple of times in front of the class in a not nice I'm in charge tone, when they think you aren't looking. They always seem stunned when I catch them without looking.
    As for them challenging you all the time, there is no need to be nice about it. Tell them you are the teacher, it's your room and it's your job to teach them and you are going to do it period. Don't have a nice tone or even look friendly when you say this. You must get your point across that you are in charge, they are CHILDREN!! I've taught 5th grade for 3 years and sometimes you just have to put your foot down. They are by no means grown and they are testing the limits in your classroom. If they said they were going to tell the prinicpal, I would say go right ahead we can call him/her down right now. Of course you would have already laid your problem out for the principal, so he or she could back you up. I've found that usually if you call their bluff, they will back down.
    I know this may sound harsh, but if you are not FIRM AND CONSISTENT they will walk all over you and your wonderful lessons will go to waste.
    I hope this post doesn't seem harsh, it just burns my knickers when 10 year olds try to take control at school, because they are in control at home all the time. I hope this helps and you have a great day.

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