Just had the first day today, and it was quite a whirlwind. All of my science courses went great, but I'm teaching an elective class this year, and I can tell off the bat that I'm going to have issues. If you remember from previous posts, I decided that I would teach this course primarily based off of PBL, meaning that the main form of assignments are projects, students will largely have to manage themselves while I coach them through the projects, and the projects will address important issues and be focused on creating impact in the school and community. I'm not sure I can pull it off. Let me give an example. Today, after going through the syllabus, I asked students to think of what it would look like to treat each other with kindness and respect. The most they could come up with was "be kind", "be respectful", "be nice". Some didn't even take it seriously and gave me answers like "give them money." There were some issues I didn't realize until I got in there: This is the first time I am teaching 7th and 8th graders together. The maturity differences between them are very stark. Many of the 7th graders were openly blurting, and generally being fairly immature with their answers. Secondly, this is the elective that nobody wants. They have to take it because they didn't get into art or music, or they didn't care enough about an elective to pick one, so they're in mine by default. The group is generally what other teachers refer to as the "bottom of the barrel". Thirdly, I don't know at all how I am going to teach students the skills needed for project based learning. How do I teach collaboration? Working in a team that values kindness, respect, and responsibility? Personal management? The teacher who previously taught this course kind of just made it a free-for-all, and students frequently went to a computer lab and just played games. Some of the students who had it for 7th grade, are in it for 8th grade again, and they're used to the lack of classroom management. I've never had students testing boundaries to this extent on the first day of school before. I'm quite at a loss here. I was expecting to run a class in which there would be a lot more personal and group freedom and responsibility, but with the way they abused that freedom today, I can tell I need to teach them much more foundational basic skills, and just get them to take this seriously. I hate to diagnose a class on the first day of school and possibly create a self-fulfilling prophecy, but from the symptoms I am seeing, I am going to need to give this class major interventions, and I'd like to plan them earlier rather than later. Is there any advice or resources anyone can provide?