I've been a middle school teacher for 5 years. No matter where I go, this seems to be a typical scenario. I'd like to hear from the veteran teachers here so I can figure out if I'm out in left field or what. As a teacher, I make an effort to use a variety of learning/teaching/assessment strategies, some group work, some individual work, projects, etc... I offer extra help and I try not to maintain a balance in my students' workload. Typically, it is not my teaching style to make up games. I teach Grade 8 Math and Science this year and I just started at this particular school about a week ago. Things are going well, but my classes are fairly large (30-35) and quite chatty. Yesterday 14 people did not do their homework, so I gave independent work to those who did it, and for those who didn't, they had to follow me on the board as we did it together--this way they were sure to get the added instruction they may need and for those who just didn't do it, they were still accountable for having it done. Then, they had to do the other assignment for homework, so they should have learned that not doing their homework was not going to help them. There's one girl who is always more focussed on the social aspect and is outspoken, coming close to the line of disrespect. She wanted to work in the hall, so I let her and she said: "Good, out there is better than in here." When I asked why, she said: "This class is boring." Honestly, though I didn't let on, this really hurt my feelings because I haven't had any real run ins with her and I feel that comment was uncalled for. Now, I wonder how or if I should address it, or just let it go. With all the efforts I make to ensure they get an interesting and varied experience in Math class, (that includes structure for my own sanity), I was a little taken aback and it got me really second guessing myself and wondering if my expectations are unreasonable or if they are playing me to see what they can get away with. They're good kids, but typical middle schoolers in that they are very socially distracted and lack some commitment in the area of learning. When I was young, I never EXPECTED fun in my classes, but obviously enjoyed it the times it turned out that way. I don't feel I should be an entertainer. Am I off-base?