Anyway, my 5th grade fieldwork teacher. I just can't say enough about him. Really. I can't.
Overall, he has several problems. One, he's lazy. He wants "me" time during classroom time. He likes to hear himself talk, which could explain the tangents. He seems to want to treat the students as adults (using big words and advanced concepts) and babies (the way he talks to them the rest of the time, with very little respect). He lets the kids draw his wife birthday cards instead of doing a writing assignment because 'they just weren't into it'. And then he goes and blames all of the classroom management problems on society for not producing perfectly behaved little Stepford children!
It's sad to watch, though, it really is. The more he tries to control the classroom, the more he fails. The more he fails, the less the kids respect and fear him (and yes, a little fear in the classroom is a Good Thing). The less they respect and fear him, the more they sass, screw around, and piss him off. When he gets pissed off, he tries to control the classroom by writing names on the board (heh) and threatening to call parents (yeah right).
I don't care what he says... this is not society's fault. I've been in a 4th grade class that was infinitely more controlled than this one. Even a 3rd grade class. Hell, the kindergarten class would give these guys a run for their money!
I really feel for the 6th grade teacher who gets some of these kids next year, because the only thing they're learning right now is how to push peoples' buttons.