Hello, I apologize for this being long, but I am truly in search of outside advice and opinions, as I am struggling with the thought of entering my second year of teaching. I am a high school mathematics teacher, and I teach mostly general level classes. Last year was an extremely rough experience. I had 2-3 AWFUL classes with multiple behavioral and academic issues. One of those classes didn't even give me a chance to instruct my procedures and set up discipline guidelines on the first day; they were out of their seats, yelling at girls in the hallway, yelling across the room, and mocking things I was saying. Over the course of the year, and even within the first month, the excitement and thought of teaching quickly diminished and I was completely miserable. I could not get the students to behave like young men and women. I could not get the students motivated to learn or to complete classwork, homework, etc... I tried everything from switching seats, to sending in the hall, detentions, sending to principal, to group work, to individual work, etc... NOTHING and I mean NOTHING could get these kids to take responsibility of their learning and behavior. It got to the point where I gave them outlined notes each day, and all they had to do was fill them in. They couldn't even do that; I would find blank notes scattered across the floor after class. And it also got to the point where I literally had to grade EVERYTHING in order for them to do work. All of this led me to working at least 60 hours a week; all I could think about is school. It consumed my life. Every once in a while I would try different activities and everything always backfired. It seemed that having a set and monotonous schedule was really the only thing that worked, even though students complained that we weren't doing anything fun or different. The school I teach at is fairly diverse, not only in ethnicity but in economic levels. Most of these students come from broken homes where parents are not very supportive and a culture in which they are not academically focused. We have block scheduling, so I understand that learning math for 84 minutes is difficult for these students. Also, it may help for you to know a little about my personality and how I perceive things. I am a very organized and structured person. I am a perfectionist, and put 110% into everything I do. I am soft spoken, and worry about everything. Through the first year, I have learned to speak louder and be more authoritative. As I prepare myself for my 2nd year, I am beginning to think that I have entered the wrong occupation, or at least the wrong age group. I feel that I would enjoy teaching the younger students more than the older students. I am certified 7-12, but I even feel that maybe I should have entered elementary education. I even think that I would be happier at a completely different job. I do, however, have an amazing support system at the school. I truly believe that I could not find better co-workers anywhere I go. They keep telling me that it gets better each year, and that the 2nd year is like night-and-day to the 1st year. I really hope this is true, because right now I don't feel that way. The first year was really discouraging. I know that my classroom management and teaching methods will not change overnight, but I don't think I was a complete mess last year. I was prepared for each school day, in fact, I was almost too prepared. I always said hello to the students and tried to strike up any conversation I could with them. I felt that I really tried to reach out, but few responded. So I hope you made it through my ramble. I would appreciate any advice, opinions, related stories, etc. Are any of you experiencing the same issues? Or is it just me? Thanks, and good luck to each of you in the future school year.