Many years ago, I had an administrator point out that October is the "battleground month." You see, the honeymoon that happens at the beginning of the year is over. It is now time to determine who is going to be in charge of the school: the adults or the students.
I realize how harsh that sounds. And shouldn't schools be partnerships---aren't we supposed to put kids first as we guide them along? An "us vs. them" mentality doesn't sound very friendly. But somewhere along the way, authority must be determined. I think that we as adults need to establish and maintain the boundaries that we set on that first rosy day of school.
I am hearing about more bad days that teachers are having as kids start to test those boundaries with more frequency. I don't like it, especially when I also hear stories that entail a lack of adminstrative support. It means that the kids have already won.