My school has some of the most fun, cute, hard working, smart and inquisitive kids you will find anywhere. They are incredible.
We also have much less incredible students who are really difficult to motivate. I tried changing lessons to be sure they were not too difficult...no reaction. I changed the way I disciplined the students to be more in line with the rest of the teachers...not effective if you want them to chat with you.
I decided that I would change the rules for the class. I thought we should try classroom democracy. The students made the rules and punishment for their class. I only enforce their rules. The students were generally more strict than I would be, but I will follow their rules.
For most offenses, students get one or two warnings and then they must stand at a desk by themselves or in the corner. If they continue to be disruptive, they get thrown out of class. I am guessing it will never come to that.
I decided that instead of scolding them and disrupting class, I would just make up some cards to give the students warnings. This way when they act up (chatting or sleeping is the most common offenses for all classes) I just walk by during the lecture and put the card on the desk. The lesson does not get disrupted and the students have a visual reminder that they have gotten into trouble.
My goal is to have better disciplined classes where the students take responsibility for the class. The first classes have been encouraging. I explained the idea to a student in another class who has some troubled students and he said, "We do not need a democracy. We need a tyrant!"