I am student teaching in a seventh grade school this semester. I very much like my cooperating teacher, although she is more lenient that I am. I am responsible for two classes at this point and I operate those classes at my discretion as I was told to do. I am having to "stand my ground" with the students, who are of course not always pleased that I require them to follow the rules. For example, students are not supposed to talk in the halls, however they usually did with their regular teacher. Now that I am walking them to lunch I (try to) enforce the no-talking policy. You would think I was crazy by the kids reactions. It's like they think I am the most strict person ever. I am always fair and courteous to students. I am enjoying my time in the classroom and enjoy the kids very much. However, at bus duty this afternoon one of my students came to me and said, "Oh, people are talking so bad about you!! Anna really hates you; she was saying all kinds of really bad things during gym!" I know exactly why this girl is upset...this afternoon I was circulating through the room while they worked. She had her "Bellringer" notebook on the table which is where they answer trivia-type questions at the beginning of the period. They must write 5 sentences each day in order to receive credit and this fact is stressed every single day on the board and verbally. All she had was the question written down with the correct answer circled. You don't even have to write the question down, so essentially she did nothing. I said politely, "Where's your answer from today's bellringer?" She pointed to the circled answer, which is given during the discussion. I said, "You realize you need to have five sentences, right? This won't even count when Mrs. Hinder collects your Bellringer notebook." She hardly said a thing, but this is apparently what she is mad at. I guess my point is this... My goal is not to be liked by everyone. I must enforce the rules because if I want a job here next year then when I am walking down the hall with the students I need for the principle to see that I can control the class. Do you think I should just lax up and let things go? If I do that then when I am observed by my university professor then things will go bad to say the least, I imagine anyway. I am a very self-conscious person and I know it will be a challenge to get to the point where I am not bothered when students dislike me or say negative things about me when I turn my back. Still, no one likes to be the butt of a joke and the source of such conversations. Any ideas about any of this? THANKS.