Yesterday, I totally blew up at my feral class. I had repeatedly asked them to be quiet and then finally had to raise my voice, which I really don't like to do in the classroom. I told them if they weren't functional enough to be able to conduct themselves in a Spanish I class, I'd make arrangements for them to go elsewhere and wouldn't that be pathetic? I told them that most of them were taking the class to fulfill college entrance requirements and if they had any notion of behaving themselves the way they have been in my class, they could think again, that they would be made fun of in college. Oh, I was on a rant. I thought for sure I'd suffer for it later.
But, you know what? They bought it. Surly kids were all of a sudden nicer to me, asking appropriate questions, exhibiting wonderful behavior. It's amazing- I've seen it happen many times- especially with my tougher kids- the tougher I get, the more respect they have for me.