What's the best way to diffuse a building confrontation? Would your approach be different with 8th graders and 12th graders? I'm new to subbing secondary and today was my first encounter with this kind of behavior. Today I had 2 8th grade boys get in each other's face during a transition in the classroom. They didn't go farther than that, but it could have easily taken a turn for the worse. I tried my drill sergeant voice (ordering them to back off and go to their seats - that didn't work - so then I told them if they won't take their seats to take it outside). They seemed to totally ignore me - although they did back down from each other after a few more lingering hostile stares and some tough talk. I didn't feel like they backed down from anything I said - I think I just got lucky. I felt like there was a pride issue of their egos vs. a lady (me) telling them to back down. My husband told me - most importantly - not to get in between the opponents. That's definitely good advice. I'm just wondering how others would have handled this.