I'm nervous to post to this teacher forum, even though it's anonymous. I teach 8th grade math on the east coast and things in one of my classes are going so badly! Three other classes are going pretty well. Students are routinely out of their seats, running around the classroom, etc. to the point where we CAN'T learn. All year I've had a system of 5 warnings with various consequences before students get a referral, but it now has little effect. My asst. principal has told me that I need to get the kids to know I mean business by giving a referral to the FIRST kid who messes up- not sitting in their seat or walking across the room to talk to their friend. Many students are frustrated that we're not learning content, but these same students also openly choose to disobey our classroom rules. Today many students started screaming at me because they think I'm such a bad teacher since I can't control the class. It's clear to me that the students want to learn, but they respond just as aggressively when I take strong action like writing a referral for a student. I just feel like I can't win because I've been manipulated by my students so badly. I hate that I've gotten to a point where the only recourse is to write referrals. As soon as a kid starts misbehaving all these terrible things start running through my mind, like the fact that they could get expelled if they get another referral. Is there any hope for me to change things? I really want to build strong relationships with these kids and value their opinions, but I've let them get away with so much that I feel I can't do that anymore. I'm also not sure how to start class tomorrow after the tense atmosphere we had today with students telling me they hope I get fired.