Let me give you some background before I share my story and ask for advice. So, I've subbed at this school before. I've actually be subbing for 4 years, pretty consistently. I work a lot, but would really like to get better at subbing. I consider myself an excellent elementary school sub, those days run smoothly and I enjoy them. I know how to get their attention and how to keep it. My degree is in elementary so there are no problems there. However, in order to work enough to pay the bills, I accept Middle and High School jobs when they come along. I normally don't have problems with the high school students because they mind their own business. This particular middle school is in a lower-income area, but it's not crazy low. The administration seems competent and the other teachers are friendly. Today, I taught 4 classes of math, 2 classes of 8th graders, and 2 classes of 7th graders. The 8th grade classes went okay, but both the 7th grade classes bombed. The plans were to do a warm-up (problems that were on the overhead), then go over their homework from the night before and then assign new homework. They were supposed to have about 20 minutes to work on this homework. There wasn't one or two specific students that were causing problems, just general disruption. It took me a long time to get them all settled down (tips for starting class would be helpful), then students would call things out while I was giving instructions. There was general talking while I'm giving the instructions. A lot of attention-seeking behaviors. I tried pausing and waiting for them to quiet down. I tried asking specific kids to be quiet, etc. I finished explaining the assignment and turned them loose to finish the work. They had the rest of the class to finish the work (about 20 minutes). There were several students who did nothing the whole time. I was roaming the room, helping students with the assignment, but I spent most of the time asking kids to return to their seats, asking them get their work done, asking them to stop talking, etc. There were several instances of inappropriate talk/gestures happening. I am a pretty innocent/naive person when it comes to sexual innuendos and such, but I'm pretty sure there were several instances of students implying very crude things. I asked specific students to stop. I'm pretty sure after a while the students just tuned me out and did what they wanted to anyway because I didn't have a firm enough demeanor. I felt like I was begging the students to sit down and do their work. I know that's not effective, but I was so frazzled that I couldn't think of what else to do. The room was so chaotic I felt like I couldn't think straight. The teachers next door told me I could send students to them. And I ended up doing that in both periods, but I just feel like a failure when that happens. Those teachers have enough to worry about with having my students to worry about too. Plus, I feel like it reflects poorly on me as a sub when I can't control the classroom. Now I feel like the students at this school know me as a push-over and when they see me in their classroom, they can just goof-off, be inappropriate, etc and get away with it. I don't want to never accept a job here again, because I need the work. Maybe that's what I need to do until these kids are gone (it's only a school for 7th and 8th graders). But, I just feel like that's cheap and I should be able to handle any classroom of kids. I have a very high patience threshold, and maybe I'm way too patient. Maybe I need to enforce discipline at the first sign of disruption. I guess the bottom line is I am looking for some specific advice: 1. What are good ways to start a middle school classroom and get them to settle down and be in their seats and actually listening. 2. How to deal with individual disruptions 3. How to deal with general bad behavior/off-task students of the whole classroom. 4. What to do with inappropriate (or what I think might have been inappropriate) words or actions? 5. Any other advice would be great. If you read to the bottom of the post, you deserve a lot of credit. I know I'm very emotional and worked up right now, but I don't know what else to do. Please don't think that I'm a totally incompetent sub, I really do have great control of most classrooms. Thank you in advance for any advice or tips.