Trying to survive may seem accurate right now, but you will improve greatly
if you remember what worked and what didn't. Teaching is constant reflection.
The Beauty of middle school is those new quarters. You will start again
next quarter with new kids and it will be better. By the end of the year it will
be so much better.
And mine don't always want to work on homwork or extra credit. I tell them
if they're not willing to make art, then they must stay in their seat and not
take anyone else off task. If they do there has to be a consequence. I have an
isolation table but I know you don't have this kind of space.
I was too nice in the beginning as well. Somehow you must learn to toughen
up a bit.
Hang in there and just keep plugging along.