So it seems the problem solved itself. I subbed for the history teacher today. This class, like I said lately has been just awful, for just about every teacher, for quite awhile.
Today they were wonderful! Well, yes, I had some students who chatted a little, but no big deal, and no disrespect nor defiance. This particular student was quiet, no problems at all, but he didn't ignore me either, we made eye contact a few times, and it was perfectly normal.
I talked to the English teacher (the whole thing happened in his class). He said he was telling the students that I'll be subbing for him for 2 weeks. Get this: this student told him that their class will be the best class out of all of them for the whole time
Sounds good to me.
I think he may have reflected on this. The interesting thing is that in history they're covering World War II, and next week or so they'll be covering the Holocaust.
Isn't it amazing how things turn out?
But all of this wasn't for nothing - I did learn a lot from this experience.