I have a kid who is the most defiant and attention seeking student I've seen in ten years of teaching. He yells across the room, climbs on furniture, calls other kids names, yells out random words when I'm instructing or if another student is talking and talks back continually. If I try proximity, he runs away. I've tried to talk to him one-on-one and the result is usually back talk or a bunch of "I don't know" answers. I've tried reacting. I've tried ignoring. The other day, he pushed a chair into me when I walked past. The behavior is like a roller coaster. If another teacher or the principal is observing, he sits and participates and while not an angel, is at least manageable. On occasion I've been able to work one-on-one with him and he's cooperative as long as all my attention is on him. Any time he cooperates, I praise him to high heaven. I teach a special and his homeroom teacher claims he's not that bad for her. The kids tell me a different story. Regardless, the parents don't return attempts at contact. My admin is not willing to do much. It's a new principal and I get the feeling he doesn't want to go down over a discipline fight with parents. Our last principal suddenly "retired" after a discipline scandal. The overall feeling among the staff is that he doesn't want anything to do with the specials teachers and has made all of us feel like we're not welcome. I'm at my wits end here. This kid makes it impossible to do my job and I have no recourse. No standard strategies work and asking for help will most certainly backfire.