I subbed for a middle school resource classroom - teaching kids basic skills, math, science and reading. I expected them to be really frisky, but they were over the top. These are 7th graders in a pretty new school in a well-established school district, not inner city. Incessant talking, constant putdowns of each other. Wouldn't stay on task. Just plain horrid. All those Fred Jones techniques just didn't work on them, they just kept at it (get their attention, reseat them, etc.) I actually had to send out a student to the office and do a referral for a really stupid action on the student's part - she had stuck a magazine in her back pocket, hid it under her shirt and I asked to see it - she said, no, none of your business. I warned her repeatedly that yes, it is absolutely my business to see it, and it is not worth it to suffer the consequences of defiance. Well, she wouldn't and I removed her from the classroom. Just pure stubbornness. I also issued "citations" which are like parking tickets - where kids have to serve a short lunch detention the next day - for being tardy, for wearing a hat/hoodie, other more minor infractions. I don't see that however, having much of an effect on their behavior though. Interestingly enough, the nastier students were the girls, rather than the boys. Some of the girls would belittle a couple of the boys who had not gone on their growth spurt yet. The office people said that I did have a challenging class. Usually with a resource or special ed class I would have an aide there but there wasn't one today (I think). What would someone do with kids at this age? I'm most concerned with the constant belittling that goes on -- how does one redirect and teach them to respect each other? I told one of the boys that if you're always going off on another person, he might come back and retaliate, and the cycle never ends. He didn't see to get it. Granted I know that kids can be pretty cruel to each other at this age - I had a pretty bad time as a middle schooler because I was small for my age and a late bloomer.