Hello again all! I'm trying to figure out how to improve my substitute skills in the high school and middle school classroom. My question is: how do you know you are at fault for the behavior problems of students or their bad behavior is in part due to lax standards at a school district? I am really curious on this one because I recently moved (for college) from one school district that had issues with gangs and lots of teachers not able to do their jobs (at one school there were at least 5 teachers fired for being able to control their classes), to this new one where there are also a lot of gang and social issues (like lots of teen pregnancy) it seems. But I want to make sure I'm not jumping to conclusions here and assuming that its the fault of the district and not mine. I've heard many teachers say in both "this is a bad district" but still I want to run some things buy you all to see what you think. For instance, in this new district I have already noticed that at the high school teachers are really lax about rules. I'm wondering if they have to be to avoid huge confrontations because on one of my first days I was getting death threats for asking students to put away their phones. When I walk by classrooms I see teachers allowing their students to walk around and chatter with friends during lessons, students eat and drink whatever they want (in some schools I used to sub for kids were only allowed water), students listen to their ipods even during tests, and students are CONSTANTLY using their phones! If they aren't texting on those phones they are outright talking on them using blue tooths to make it less obvious. I feel like this lack of discipline might be why it's so hard for me to enforce anything at all! I usually tell the class I will give 3 official verbal warnings for 4 "pet peeve" rules I have that include: 1. no cell phones or electronics, 2. no getting out of your seat to talk to friends (I let them sit where they want at the start of class and make charts so they have no NEED to run around and make trouble), 3. keeping hands and feet to yourself, 4. no inappropriate talk (like about who you boinked last night). I will also tell them that my main pet peeves are the "no electronics" and "getting out of seats" and that will earn an immediate official warning where I take down their name. If they get past 3 I send them to the office or ask their teacher to write them up. I try not to "slam down" on kids since if I wasn't a little understanding most kids would end up in the office in 5 minutes. I've also tried rewarding good students by doing things like handing out stickers or letting good kids leave the class at the bell first. But even these seemingly simple requests are absolutely detested and strongly protested against by the students. I can understand why given the fact that I now know how their teachers cannot or will not enforce these very things which are rules in the student handbook. So maybe I am provoking the students by asking them to follow school district rules? What sucks, though, is that the administration has a strong expectation of substitutes. The sub director will tell you to enforce all rules and teachers will walk by and tell you that you need to put your foot down with kids (ie tell them to put phones away). Ironically, these are often the same teachers that let their kids do whatever. One last thing....what sort of classroom management techniques do you use and what sort of rules do you enforce if you sub middle or high school?