I am a Russian teacher and find The TES useful and interesting. Reading it I've discovered that the UK and Russia share the same problems. I thought your readers would be interested in the opinion of a Russian teacher on how to control disruptive boys.
Rule 1. A teacher must never adopt the same negative attitude which a disruptive boy shows his teacher. Under no circumstances must the teacher be authoritarian. You must show respect and goodwill. You can sometimes overlook minor misconduct (as you would for well-behaved children). If he is being offensive, you can ask sincerely "Have I said or done something wrong?" The tone of the question must show that you are ready to apologise if you were, for some reason, wrong. The boy must feel that you treat him as a partner, a friend and that you respect his feelings Rule 2. Entertain pupils. Propose spectacular experiments and force them to produce great ideas. In such a situation even the most disruptive boy forgets to behave badly. You must show wide knowledge. You must be highly competent. You must be interesting.
Rule 3. Praise the smallest success. Stimulate him in developing his skills, whatever they are. Find his good qualities and praise them too.
Rule 4. In your appearance you must be tidy, fashionable and, dare I say, beautiful. Children appreciate external beauty (and so do we). If they like your appearance they imitate you and hang upon your words.
Rule 5. If everything fails - have a sense of humour. It is the only thing that can save our sanity and, in the hands of a subtle person can be an effective way to cope with an unruly boy.
Zayrat Baybagisova Chemistry teacher and Russian Teacher of the Year, 1999 Cherkessk-15 Karachaevo-Cjerkessian republic Russia