Once your students have been in the same class for awhile, they’ll start to get more comfortable with their surroundings. As they make friends and become braver, they’ll act out more in class.
One of the easiest ways to counteract this problem is to restructure the students’ seating arrangement. This will re-establish your authority over the students.
Rearranging the seating will also allow you to manually separate students who are beginning to work together towards a common goal of undermining your authority. You can usually tell when students are beginning to act in an unruly way; in these situations, you should quickly take action to dispel this kind of behavior.
However, the middle of a lesson definitely isn’t the optimal time to rearrange your students. Instead, have the new seating arrangement ready when they first enter the classroom on a new day.
You may want to try leaving one seat open at the front of the class, near the chalkboard if possible. You can use this desk to store teaching supplies, and it will also allow you to continue your lessons without having return to your own desk over and over.
The empty seat also works well as a deterrent to misconduct. If a student is misbehaving, clear the desk of your supplies and move him or her to the empty seat at the front of the classroom.
In the event that one of your students seriously violates your rules, such that they need to be moved to a different spot immediately, have them gather their things and move to the empty spot in the front row.
Being called out in such a way is humiliating for the student, and will generally correct his or her behavior. It also conveniently puts the student right at the front of the class, where any more misbehavior will be easily spotted.