I'm a first year teacher in a rough school district. I teach middle school (6-8) with 95% of our kiddos on free lunch. I'm very frustrated right now and considering leaving education. Teaching is seriously becoming a "Why am I putting myself through this?" Thing. Is it that I'm too stubborn to quit? I don't want to disappoint people close to me? That I'm too over-educated to do much else? That I'm the breadwinner and without my income, we don't live? I'm unhappy. More-so than I've ever been in my entire life. I'm depressed. I thought I knew the dark side of depression in college. It's got nothing on this. What's making me so miserable? I'm not really sure. I think it's the behavior issues I'm having, and the fact that my hands are really tied. Kids talk all choir. So I follow the prescribed discipline chart and move them. That doesn't help. They just yell across the room. When they are asked to be quiet, they give me an attitude the size of the state. At which point you are removed from rehearsal and given an alternate assignment. (Theory, a paper on behavior , copying from the dictionary, music math). I've also had to do this with whole classes, when most of the class acts up. I drag them to the cafeteria, make them sit one to a table, and write an essay. Then I give them detention, per the next step. They don't bother to show-up. I call home. It's hit or miss if I'll actually find anyone to talk to. Most tell me, "They are the same way at home and I don't know what to do." Ok. At this point, I follow the next step. Office referral. I've written so many this semester I've lost count. Does it help? Not really. The office will assign detention, again. Well, the kid doesn't show up for that either and round we go again. And honestly, I'm not sure if the office even sees the kids when I write referrals. They never go to ISS. Out of all the referrals I've written, I've received three back with the administrative action taken. All for more detention. We could do so much if they'd just listen. They have talent. That's never been the issue. They are lazy. "Our old director let us play all period." Well, this isn't play time anymore. It's work time. But the more I crack down and push them to work, the worse it gets. So I tried going in the other direction for awhile. I was positive re-enforcement to the extreme. I've tried nice. I've tried middle-ground, I've tried mean. I get into their space, I've stayed back. Nothing seems to work. And I cannot remove the kids from my class who truly don't want to be there, which damages the moral of the others. I'm very discouraged. I cry most nights, and weekends. I dread waking up in the morning, and don't sleep we'll at night. I'm medicated, which has helped a bit, but I still feel very down. Other teachers have expressed the same concerns as myself. That we are getting kicked and beaten on for eight hours a day by 1000 kids. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.