Looking for words of encouragement and strategies to get through these first weeks of school as a first year teacher. I accepted a position in an urban district, inner city kiddos who are 90+ % in or below poverty. We are in week 2 and some parents have yet to even enroll their children yet and we just keep getting the new ones roll in. We have 2 second grade teachers and we each have 30 in our class (as of tomorrow). I was never prepared for what I am dealing with right now. I have 2 students to bark at me and crawl on the floor and kick other students/desks/furniture/tear things down/run out of my room/not walk in line EVER/etc.etc.etc. I call for support, they take them, then the kids are brought right back and we do the whole scenario over again. I have 30 kiddos who of course LOVE to talk. They also love to hate each other and TALK. The talking does not stop - and it's not just in my class it's every class that I have talked with the teacher! We are screaming at these kids. My Principal came in the other day while I was extremely frustrated and screaming at them to line up and put up bumpers and bubbles (arms crossed and bubbles in mouth so no talking).....the principal then proceeded to yell and scream. ACK! I do NOT want to scream and yell - it is NOT and can NOT be effective! However, it is the only way anyone has gotten these student's attention. I'm being told I'm doing great with what I have and that I'm in survival mode just like the rest of the school. This sucks and I want to quit. But I know these kids need me. To make matters worse, I have yet to sign a contract (supposedly waiting til they have the next board meeting before they approve it) which is making it easy for me to think about leaving. In no way do I think this would reflect good on me to any other district so I'm sure I will not be leaving...it's just tough as tough can be. I need some awesome attention grabbers and some team building, fun things I can do in the classroom. We are supposed to start in with curriculum next week, but I'm not sure any of the teachers will be able to do that yet, so I'm really needing something awesome to try to grab and keep these kiddos engaged and to learn to love me and each other!!!