If you have ever found yourself watching over a group of teenagers you know it can be a very daunting task, they may not be more afraid of you then you are of them, but you are the one in control. Remember this, you may be outnumbered but you always have ways of dealing with problem children.
The first thing to remember when dealing with young people is, you are not cool. No matter how hard you try you will never be cool. Nothing you can do will change that, however, you can use it as a way to get them to behave. Mimicking their incorrect or distracting actions is a dangerous game, but can lead the young people you are currently responsible for to confusion long enough for them to do what you want them to do. Weather it is study, or just be quite you can sometimes use it to your advantage.
Almost never lead them by example. Examples do not work with teenagers as they are currently exploring their world and actions. Also they are demonstrating their boldness and creativity to their peers. Also since anything you do is not cool, they will not want to do it. A better way is to try and lead them to do the action you want them to do without letting them know you want to do it. This will let them think that they are in control of the situation and will get along with you.
Another thing you should know is If you are going to be strict, be strict from then on. You may be seen as a “hard ass” but sometimes that is what it takes to keep them on tract.
Trying to be nice will sometimes work, however when they spot weakness they will tear into it. Teenagers are not a forgiving bunch and they will never forget something you have done, as long as they can use it against you. Do not show weakness in front of a group of them, ever. If you do something that they think is funny you can play it up a bit, and then go back to the “let’s get back to work” self. If the situation keeps popping up, act disinterested. Correct them for not working, not for mocking you. If you correct them for mocking you, they will discover a weakness of yours and you will be forced to use disciplinary actions which will strain your relationships with the teenagers.
Remember to take in account that they are individuals and they are trying to find themselves. Telling their parents on them may be the best thing way to correct a situation, other times it may be just talking with them and explaining what is wrong with the actions they are taking.