i think managing children is the single biggest challenge of being a teacher. i have certain kids that i feel like i'm in a near constant battle with depending on whether it is a good or bad day...or week.
but i had a reminder today of something important that is easy to lose sight of when you're locked in "battle" with certain younglings. the reminder was that these bad behaviors don't come from nowhere -- that the most difficult kids to deal with often have a heart wrenching situation outside of school.
while that doesn't excuse bad behavior, it's the key to seeing that they are not the enemy and that your battle is not with them, it is for them.