I don't know if I've mentioned this or not but I've really struggled this year with disrespectful students. From 6-16, there were a few months when it seemed like the majority of my students were hell-bent on refusing to listen to anything I said.
If I told them to sit down, they would sit in the floor or on their friends lap.
I was hit and kicked and elbowed and stomped on. A 6/7 year old tried to choke out another kid during my class. Frankly, the children only received a quick scolding when I reported the incidents.
Everyday was a nightmare. Eventually the classes were rearranged and some of the trouble students didn't come back.
The situation improved but I never felt like I was at a place where I felt it was good.
Anyway, this summer I had an extra class to teach during summer vacation. The class had no set books or curriculum so I was able to create everything. So much here is focused on rote memorization so I tried to stay away from that as much as possible. I picked a topic for each class and we read a story or watched a cartoon relating to the topic, sang silly songs with motions and played games that involved running around the classroom. Basically, general silliness ensued. But, it was silliness in English.
I had 2 sweet, shy little girls in this class. I'd taught them before and they were afraid to try. One little girl was too afraid of making a mistake that she wouldn't even play the telephone game.
So, I amped up the silliness. I mimed extreme facial expressions and spoke in silly voices. I made these girls my partners whenever we played loud games so I could encourage them to try.
After a month, the class ended and we went back to our regular schedule. The two shy girls went back to their regular class.
On the first day of class, we watched the movie clip and I asked a question. The two little girls were straining themselves, falling out of their seats trying to raise their hands above the others. They wanted to answer. They wanted to try. They knew they could do it. So, I chose on of them. And they blew it away and set the example for the rest of the class.
All I could say was "Wow. Thank you God!"