Misbehaving kids

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by Sweetpea86, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. Sweetpea86

    Sweetpea86 Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2009
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 12, 2010

    I really hate being the mean Sub, but since I'm very young the students try to take advantage every chance they get.

    I usually start the day off as being nice...but as the day progresses I stop caring about being the nice sub and become very firm.

    Today I was burnt out by the kids 2 hours into the day...than eventually at the last 30 minutes of school instead of doing their "fun activities" I made all of them to sit down and read quietly.

    How does everyone else handle these situations?
    I have to Sub for the same school tomorrow...and I'm already dreading it.
     
  2.  
  3. waffles

    waffles Companion

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 13, 2010

    I start being "mean". Yeah, it can still get you labeled as the mean sub. But they behave better since they think you'll be mean.

    That's also why I like being in middle/high schools more than elementary schools. If a kid isn't behaving I can send them out and they won't come back to the class unless they left something there. I can also have a choice in how serious the sending out is. I've sent people to another room just to cool off, and with the discipline folders the schools have.

    Sending kids out in elementary school is a much bigger deal. Thankfully sitting the class down and telling them how disappointed their teacher is going to be and how she might ask for the meanest, strictest sub there is usually gets everyone behaving. Sadly though, I think that mean sub is me or my wife sometimes with the stories I hear from the kids.
     
  4. Unbeknownst

    Unbeknownst Cohort

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Messages:
    612
    Likes Received:
    1

    Apr 13, 2010

    Hang in there! Your situation can change, I promise :)

    Just realize you're working up a hill since you don't have the ability to work with these kids every day to establish a rapport like the teacher.

    Each time you issue an order, the students think "Why should I listen to you?"

    Show them.

    Your age has very little (but admittingly some) to do with your kids taking advantage of you. It's mainly up to you whether or not your kids take advantage of you. You don't have to be old to be respected.

    Reverse this. Start out firm so that later you can be nice without the students taking advantage of you. Students need to know from the beginning that they're dealing with a teacher, not a friend.

    After you establish your position as the authority in the classroom, then you can start having a little fun with them.

    Good luck!
     
  5. JackTrader

    JackTrader Comrade

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Messages:
    422
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 13, 2010

    Totally agree. Since you're an unknown quantity as a sub, you need to establish that you mean business from the get-go.

    Set your expectations for behavior and actions at the beginning - such as policies. It helps if you can find out what the particular teacher's classroom policies are in the beginning before you start if possible, so that there are less points of contention or friction (such as eating in the classroom).

    Your age doesn't matter - students will try to take advantage of you or find a "loophole" no matter what. What counts is that you need to show you are the top dog (alpha). And they will follow.
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,959
    Likes Received:
    2,116

    Apr 13, 2010

    I agree- firm is the way to go. You can still be friendly and have fun with them, but you have to establish that you are in charge. Hopefully, teachers will leave you with an idea of classroom rules and policies- it makes it difficult, especially with younger kids, to change the rules just because there's a sub in the room.
     
  7. CD1980

    CD1980 Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 18, 2010

    This isn't the greatest teaching technique, but I bribe the kids with candy for good behavior (or, for younger kids, with a "Smile Award" they can earn as a class). This has worked great for me for four years. One advantage of this is that you can be strict with the kids, but in the end you're still the "cool sub with the candy."

    While I know we don't like to think of it this way, we DO kind of have to be liked by the students if we're going to be teaching the same kids over and over, year after year. Once they like and respect us, classroom management becomes a whole lot easier because they don't WANT to misbehave for us (in general). The trick is to do this without letting them walk all over us. Candy works for me.
     
  8. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,484
    Likes Received:
    64

    Apr 18, 2010

    There's the answer.

    Walk in, lay down the law, and discuss the issue right off the bat with them. (Make sure they all quiet down, stop doing whatever they are doing of course.) Address them in a serious, yet unemotional way... (when I say lay down the law, you don't have to be mean or a raving lunatic.) and explain as clear as day the expectations and the consequences. I do that when I have "the bad" class. Normally, they are on a no-tolerance situation right off the bat with me. If someone gets out of line, don't get mad: just follow-up with the appropriate consequence... make one kid the sacrificial lamb. And go from there.

    Again, it's important to not lose your cool.

    I certainly remember "dreading" assignments when I first started doing this... But just look at tomorrow's gig as an opportunity, to hone your teaching craft. As if it is a scenario that's been laid out in front of you as part of your teacher education. Come with a strategy (whether you want to use mine, your own, or somebody else's), and just go with it. It'll be fine. :thumb:

    GL.
     
  9. JackTrader

    JackTrader Comrade

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Messages:
    422
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 18, 2010

    That is absolutely a great point - I use subbing to practice my classroom management techniques.
     
  10. ms.

    ms. Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Messages:
    292
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 18, 2010

    Do not worry about being the cool sub. I usually try to smile a ton, but at the same time I'm very consistent and assertive from the beginning. Being an assertive teacher doesn't mean yelling, it just means I don't let kids walk all over me. I respect that all students have the right to learn, and no student has the right to prevent their neighbor from learning. Although at the same time I am: sensitive, kind, positive and respectful.

    What I find is that 95% of the kids end up liking me, not that I keep track. :D The students who are expecting a free day, and don't want to learn when there is a sub, tend to not be very big fans of me. When I had to suspend a student for the first time (I teach at a summer school/camp and I'm the supervisor) I was very worried that I would lose the rapport I had with the student. However I found that the student had more respect of me, and I got along just fine with her afterwords.

    With teaching you aren't there to be a friend, rather you are their teacher. Students want/need boundaries, it's healthy and makes them feel safe.
     
  11. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,094
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 19, 2010

    I have to agree with everyone else - be firm in your rules from the beginning and let the kids know you aren't a pushover. You're there to teach and their there to learn, so class won't be any different today just because the regular teacher isn't there.

    Like ms. said, you'll find the kids will respect you more once they know you won't let them get away with their antics and that there will be consequences for misbehavior or disruptions.

    I sub at our district's "alternative" school quite a bit. Most of those kids are there due to behavior and/or attendance problems in other schools. I recently had one of my worst days as a sub with a particular class there because the students kept ignoring my instructions during the class. At the end of the class, I gave the students a harsh talk about showing respect. I directed part of my comments to two of the students I've had in other classes at different schools. I asked them straight out "Haven't I always treated both of you with respect every time I've been your sub?" They both agreed I had. I told them (and the other students) that I expect that same respect from them.

    I've had to be "mean" to both of those students in the past. I've taken toys from them in class, sent them to the principal's office for misconduct and even got one of them suspended for trying to sneak smokeless tobacco on campus. Despite all that, they both still agreed I had always been respectful towards them.

    Show the kids that you are a teacher, not just a "sub", and they will respect that.

    As for them thinking you're the "cool sub", almost every teacher I've worked for has told me it's an automatic "red flag" for them if their kids say "Please get Mr. Cerek as our sub again, he was SO cool". It sends up a red flag because being "cool" usually means the sub didn't make them do any work. The teacher would much rather hear "We didn't like that sub, (s)he was mean". Translation: (s)he made us do our work while you were gone.

    It's a fine line. I love to have fun with the kids and joke around with them some. I do a lot of different things (depending on the situation) to make the class "fun" while I'm there. But all of that is done AFTER we've gone over the lesson for the day. So kids still think I'm a "cool sub" a lot of times, but I can also show the teacher that I made the class do their work.

    However, I did have one group of kids recently tell their teacher they didn't want me back because I was "mean". When she asked what I had done that was mean, the answer was "he watched us like a hawk and made us show him the work we had done". Needless to say, they couldn't have given me a better endorsement if I had asked them. :D
     
  12. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
    1,074
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 21, 2010

    Are we twins lol? From another momma? haha that sounds just like me and a thread I would post...Hope this helps me too!!
     
  13. Little Monster

    Little Monster Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 24, 2010

    When students are wasting my time I will take theirs. When things get loud and crazy I start counting; 1, 2, 3, etc. until the room is quiet. Wherever I stop is how much time my class is going to owe me when the recess bell rings and yes SHHHH and QUIET counts towards the ticks. This is cumulative... so next time they start getting rowdy I will start off where they left off before. Quickly my kids will start putting up their "quiet Coyote" hand sign and the room will get very quiet. If almost the whole room is quiet but a few kids, then I will say "we are almost ready, but so-and-so" wants to waste more time. I would say that I count 1 second for every 3 that they waste... give or take.

    This has been the single best motivator I have found. Normally the most seconds that they will lose from a recess will be 15-20 seconds which will start when the bell rings and after everyone is quiet with their heads down. In the RARE occasions where it does exceed the one minute mark I have all the kids sit heads down start the time and dismiss the kids that have been behaving.

    I really do hate doing this as I am a huge physical activity and health nut, but it really does the trick. I HATE the rewards that some subs do... I work primarily urban elementary with class sizes sometimes as much as 30+.

    And as everyone else has said, go in as the boss and by the end of the day you will be the friend almost every time. Set the rules from the beginning and follow through. They will QUICKLY catch on to you not falling through.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 226 (members: 2, guests: 201, robots: 23)
test