Hi, I'm a long term substitute teaching math. I just started at the beginning of January. I teach 5 class periods, 2 really drive me crazy, but there is 1 student in one of the classes that just continuously tests me and acts out. The first two weeks of school, he would not stop talking. During notes, when I asked him to stop numerous times. Basically totally disrespectful. Sometimes I would stop class and say, "Are you finished?" and instead of shutting up they would say "Um, no" and keep talking. I wound up writing up him and two other boys and they got detention. Since then, the one boy has really turned around and is doing well. The second, I wrote up again for insubordination (they are not allowed to have backpacks in school, and I asked him to bring it back to his locker and refused and gave me a HUGE attitude). But he's a bit more manageable. The third.... does not stop. We already had a meeting with his mom (with all of his teachers) because he has emotional issues and a past drug problem, so the issue with him has been ongoing and I'm caught in the middle of it. The mother basically does not discipline him at all and she doesn't know what to do. It was suggested that he even go to an alternative school but the mother refused. He does absolutely no classwork at all. He rarely brings in his homework, and thats only because I email the mother the homework every single day. But my problem is that he will do anything to push my buttons. He gets very smart with me and asks in the middle of class "why do I have to know this?". No matter how I answer, he's not satisfied. He pops gum SO LOUDLY in the middle of class anytime my back is turned and when I tell him to stop he denies it. Because of him, he instigates other boys in the class, and I can barely get through any sort of notes because of the talking. Although I have to say... it has gotten slightly better, but some days are just impossible. I wind up giving a lot of group work or partner work, just so I don't have to fight to talk some days. Theres a bunch of difficult kids in that class, but nothing out of the ordinary. This kid seems to just set everything off. The days he's not there, the class is pretty quiet. My problem is that he doesn't care if he is disciplined or not. He is failing my class. He makes me dread coming to school. I feel terrible because I love some of my other classes. My mentor teacher and other teachers have told me that he is doing anything to can to try to get me to snap, and I know that. But I need this to end. I'm absolutely terrified of getting observed in that class, because I feel like he will purposely do something outrageous to make me look bad.