One of the hardest things about teaching, is convincing kids that they want to learn the stuff. In our district, Spanish is offered as an elective. Therefore, they don't have to be there. For the most part, the kids want to learn Spanish, or they believe it's going to be beneficial to them in their college careers.
Last year, when I taught English to seventh and eighth graders, They were required to be in my classroom. If they failed, I got them the next year... If they were obnoxious, it could be that they would be back the next day. So there it was - those kids didn't want to be there - I didn't want them to be there. And then, the rest of the kids surely didn't want to be there.
Teaching an elective, the dynamic changes. I HAVE THE POWER. If the kid doesn't like me and is disrespectful, he or she doesn't need to be in my class. In the same respect, if students find that I'm a control freak, they'll drop out of Spanish, and I won't have a job. So it's an interesting dealio, but for some reason it's working out for me.