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Old 10-29-2007, 01:49 PM
Emma1 Emma1 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 107
How to handle disruptive 8th graders?

Hi ,
I am doing an observation( middle school - science) in order to get into a credential program. I watch three different classrooms and observe everything that goes on in there. I usually watch veteran teachers. Today there was a sub in one of the classrooms. My god! I couldn't believe those kids could be so disruptive and chatty
These are 8th graders and half the class was talking and not doing what they were supposed to do. THe sub ( is a retired teacher) reminded them to stay on task. One of the students said ok loudly and ( softly the b word) The teacher couldn't hear this. He then called me hey and started asking me questions. I told him not to call me hey and that he need to work and not talk to me. I love science. I used to be an aide in an elementary school. I don't want to be a sub who gets walked all over. How can I effectively keep the students on task and do better than just survive. I haven't even started subbing but today was terrifying.
How to handle defiance and chatty ones who never seem to care?
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Old 10-29-2007, 02:19 PM
wig's Avatar
wig wig is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,064
Middle School Teacher
This might have been better on the sub board where veteran subs could answer your questions.

My very favorite sub comes in and states what HER rules are (which are actually mine) and the consequences of not following her rules. The kids think she is mean. She doesn't care. I don't care.

I leave her enough "extra work" based on the concept she is reviewing. She leaves me a list of who got what and I expect it the next day or it is a zero.

It does take working with the classroom teacher, but it works well.
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Old 10-29-2007, 02:29 PM
Shanoo Shanoo is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 776
I always go in assuming that they are going to be chatty and somewhat off task. I think that's the nature of the beast where substitute teachers are concerned, especially in middle school.

On the whole, I don't mind if they chat, as long as it's done appropriately (not when I'm talking, not during a test and as long as they keep their voices down) and as long as their work is being done at the same time (this is assuming that the teacher has not left instructions for the kids not to talk).

As far as defiance is concerned, they'll get a warning from me that their behaviour is unacceptable. If it continues, they get sent to the office, and I'll leave a note for the regular teacher as to what happened.

Subbing can be scary at first, but it can also be so much fun! You just have to decide what you will and won't accept and be willing to pick your battles.
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Old 11-19-2007, 04:47 PM
cam.weitz cam.weitz is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1
Alberta, Canada
P.E. Teacher
I think that the most important thing to consider when entering a foreign classroom is the procedures and routines that are currently in place. By sitting down and discussing expectations, rules, and procedures with the current teacher, you will be better prepared to fill in for that teacher. If you come in with a different set of rules and procedures, students are less likely to follow your instructions.
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Old 11-19-2007, 05:15 PM
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Budaka Budaka is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 632
Please be aware to that there is a whole realm of behavior for middle schoolers. Kind of that when they are good they are really, really good, and when they are bad they are really, really bad. I have some classes that are wonderful for me and horrible for subs but I have also had classes that are horrible for me and really bad for subs! A lot of it depends on how the administration supports the substitutes. I taught at one school were if a substitute wrote a refferal on a student it was an automatic detention, which helped a lot.
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