I have slightly recovered from the week of hell. Last week was easily the worst week of my existence, but I survived! I am stronger then the devil children.
On Friday I wrote a letter to my students that stated "Some people are here to learn. They are not learning. If you do not want to learn, I don't want you here. You will not be here, starting today, if you do not want to learn." I put a copy on every student's desk (it was about a page long...that was the jist of it) and told them all as they walked in to silently read then begin their test. If anyone spoke a word, was tardy, got out of their seat, etc. I wrote their name on the board and moved on. No one talked after about two names went up. It was beautiful.
I have been having trouble because teachers tell me I need to be more of a "bitch" or mean to the students, but all the training that I have gotten is that positive reinforcement is what people respond to. However, really they have responded to the mean side, not the positive reinforcement. I have a sticker reward system, I have student of the week, I have "earn a fun Friday" program, but without an occasional kick in the behind--none of that stuff has worked.
Well, hopefully this new management option works out well. Otherwise, I am just going to start a countdown to Thanksgiving.