Hi- I pretty new to INTERNATIONAL Thespian Society....but I also work with Middle School AND High School students. We have a demerit /merit system. #1- I have found if I have reward/consequences in place and have notified parents of the expectations and consequences- I have myself covered. #2- I lay out the rules - give them a week to understand I do what I say I will do. Reiterate the rules every day for a week. Keep track on the board those who are not following. Try to have an individual co versatile with those who can't seem to grasp the concept of following directions- bc we alll want success for them- even if it's just learning proper behavior and not spoiling the class. #3- after that first week, I warn them 1 time, then next time- this is your final warning - then comes a demerit and a note home to parentsWhen the kids see that you will do what you said you would do it begins to matter. Of course their participation grade is effected. Parents notice this!
I hope this helps! I had a very difficult class in 8th grade last year and this change has definitely helped. Also-once you know your kids well- do a seating/ group chart for scenes, etc and keep the trouble makers separated. 😊
I'm so sorry you have a tough class! It really takes it out of you, I know.
Have you done pantomime? At least that's quiet. Have them re-start every time they get sloppy with movements. Work up to a silent-movie style live performance in groups. The ones who don't want to perform can help write scenes, source props, find music and do other tech jobs.I showed performances from past years' Tony awards to some of my classes and that really made an impact on some kids. Might be worth a try.Good luck to you, and keep breathing!