So, I will tap into my pompous know-it-all streak and attempt to give a series of posts where I pretend I have some answers. Be nice when you correct me, though. No one likes there soft, wibbly bits exposed for public ridicule. And feel free to join in with your tips, show us your wibbly bits.
We will start with general classroom management: worst case scenario. The one difficult student who seems to hate you. (Truthfully for me, its probably a slightly older white guy who arrives suspicious of our entire discipline and with a penchant for listening to Rush is Reich) Do not fight with that one difficult student. You will lose. You are never going to win with the close-minded. Ever. Don't try. Here is why: many of those students sitting in that class are on your side but they aren't going to say anything. They are the "Richard Nixon silent majority". They want to learn. Yes, they do. They don't want to witness a fight. It makes everyone uncomfortable. Heck, it makes you uncomfortable. Try to remember: that one difficult student is just one difficult student. Teach the crowd. Develop a repetoire of useful phrases even if they are dorky (freely admit that they are dorky). Say "we are putting on our anthropology hats when we walk in the door. You don't have to agree but you do have to learn to think like an anthropologist". Then repeat that simple mantra in various forms throughout the semester. "Well, anthropologists say...." Well, that isn't really acceptable in the discipline...." "That interpretation doesn't work for anthropologists...." Use these phrases with that one difficult student rather than allow them to pick a fight about an issue you have not chosen to discuss. Don't be weak. Learn to redirect, instead.
Say for example, that you are discussing languages and the heckler loudly proclaims that it is just fine if all the languages of the world become extinct and we all speak English. Respond with, "well, you do realize that that would be a problem for anthropologists don't you? After all, we study people, and culture, and languages, and we kind of like them, you know." Now, I know you want to intellectually (and maybe literally) rip the heckler's arms off and beat him/her to death with the bloody nubs but really the class doesn't want to witness that. (Despite their alarming propensity to know far more about those Grand Theft Auto games than is healthy for them.)
Keep the class on your side and the heckler will flounder against the rocks of universal disapproval. Pretend that you are Sandra Bullock and take the high road. Pretty soon your ex and his tattooed girlfriend will have their T.V. show cancelled but you will always be rich and beautiful and beloved.....Its a fantasy people, work with me here.
Truth be told, you will probably have many happy classes without ever having to deal with the heckler but you need to be ready, just in case.