any help for teacher when middle school students act up behind her back

when the middle school teacher is writing on the black board, the students have a great frolic time.. send notes by air to each other or whisper or anything else silly to prove who is more brave to dare the teacher.. but when the teacher turns back, they act well and behave.. the moment she turns again to the board, they are off.. ( a student has confessed this.. but it can't be used any proof for this discussion or anything else)

is there a scientific terms for this kind of behavior? is this serious or expected of any middle school class in USA (8th grade)?

is there anything the teacher can do about this? (to minimize this)

Thanks
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25112Asked:
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aadihCommented:
It is not serious, as, unfortunately, it has become the normal behavior (unruly) in any middle school class in USA.  :-(

Without developing eyes at the back of the head, or having a video-monitoring with some consequences for such behaviors, there are no "known" methods to deter.  ;-)
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pklucasCommented:
Put a mirror up on the edge of the blackboard, they will settle down if they think you can possibly see them :-)

As for normal behavior I hope not (I'll have to ask my daughters tonight when they get home from middle school).
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aadihCommented:
Okay. Take back: normal.  Prevalent: more apt.
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aburrCommented:
Most important     Do not react to the misbehavior  
have consequences for any you actually catch.
Build trust and repore with students
Have students do the writing
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GwynforWebCommented:
I have to relate this story which as a teacher you might find interesting. I have a brother who specialized in teaching middle school for many years and was very successful at it. Frankly I can't begin to understand how anyone could do it let alone do it well, however there are some who can.

An experienced principal identified what he was doing, apart having the basics right, ie a balance of fear and respect, he was utterly unpredictable in everything he did. Unpredictable that is in small ways, he was prone to sudden unexpected movements such as suddenly turning when walking; he sat in different parts of the room, moving his desk or moving to a student chair; he would call the classes attention then say nothing; he'd  unexpectedly be pleasant to a rotten student; he'd suddenly get up from his chair then walk to the end of the room and back again for no good reason; he'd cough or sneeze at unexpected moments etc etc.  

All of this was not intentional it was just the way he was, he is a little odd with possibly a touch of OCD. The students were constantly on their toes as they had no previous experience of anyone like him to model his behavior on. They constantly had no idea of what he was going to do next and had no time for planning bad behavior. He worked successfully for years in some of the countries worst schools, though sadly for lousy pay.

In terms of the students you are referring to my bet is it's categorized as a form of passive aggressive behavior. Though finding a demeaning name for it, or making one up, then informing the students will make them feel rather silly and unoriginal. I'd make one up, eg adolescent low esteem disruption. Ask another question for suggestions, I have no doubt we can come up with some beauties.
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aleghartCommented:
Write on the board before class or during a time-limited pop quiz.
Face the class and talk/question while having a student copy a page onto the board.
Use a projector.
Don't turn your back.  Learn to write while your body still faces your class.
Write half of a line and spin around.  Pick a target and make him/her complete the line.
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aadihCommented:
More you aggravate the class, more methods they'll find to aggravate you.  :-(
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nickg5Commented:
Go to Ebay, and the teacher, for about $5.00 each and free shipping, can buy two fake, security like cameras that do have a red light. Mount them in the corners facing the students,
The teacher should confront the students as a whole. "I'm been informed that some students (so as not to implicate all of them or for any specific reason) have been passing notes when I am writing on the board. If I hear of this again, the parties involved will be sent to the principals office." Between the warning and fake cameras it should decrease.

I have a war story. Me and two others were on the back row and we would chit chat.
One time the teacher said "if any of you wish to talk during class, or otherwise interrupt the class, please move to the back of the room."
 I made this comment which caused an uproar of laughter: "What do we do if we are already back here?"
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aleghartCommented:
There are serious legal issues with surveillance cameras.  Expect a lawsuit and media attention within days of the stunt.
It would take about 30 seconds before the fake was identified.  Then you're seen as a desperate liar.
Any changes in behavior have to be carried out every day.  Made part if the teaching persona.  Not a one-time trick.
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25112Author Commented:
truly learnt a few implementable things.. thanks a lot!
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aadihCommented:
Great. May you lessen the pupils' acting up. :-)
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25112Author Commented:
aadih, thanks- appreciate it!

GwynforWeb, .. I could use more thoughts/ideas like "adolescent low esteem disruption".. something healthy and yet not demeaning the students.. yet getting a positive reaction..

so based on your comment "Ask another question for suggestions, I have no doubt we can come up with some beauties. "

here is a question:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Other/Miscellaneous/Q_28267477.html
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