Apparently my students don't like the "new Miss M." They let my co-teacher know this the period she teaches them without me. Last week, also the same week as the new Common Core aligned state test, the students were atrocious. I'm not sure how many detentions, both after-school and during lunch, that a teacher can give. Something had to give. So I gave. I changed.
I'm still myself-- it's not personal-- but, I am stern. The students line up outside the classroom in two lines, one for boys and one for girls. I filter them into the classroom, two by two by two. There is absolutely no talking allowed, and I address every little thing from discreet gum chewing to getting up without permission.
Clearly, the sixth graders are not ready for seventh grade, so my co-teacher and I have to take it back to fifth grade for just a little bit. And the students, they don't like it one bit. But that is just fine. A good teacher knows when she has to meet the students where they are in order to reach and teach them.