What to do about unruly students as a substitute?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by SummerRain, Sep 12, 2022.

  1. SummerRain

    SummerRain New Member

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    Sep 12, 2022

    I substitute at a middle school. It's great and I love it, but after COVID, a large amount of the students developed a particularly unruly and disobedient attitude, especially in certain classes where rules are generally more lax.

    When it's just a student or two, this is fine. I give them a warning, and if it continues, I mark down their behavior for the teacher to deal with. If the behavior is excessively disruptive, I'll send them to the office. It usually doesn't come to that, and it doesn't take long to resolve.

    What's challenging is when multiple students, or even most of the class, misbehave. If they're all moving around and causing a commotion, it's nearly impossible to get a handle on the situation because they can't hear me as a group, and if I speak to them individually, the behavior only stops in the area I am in, if at all.

    What could I do in this situation? I can't send them all down, and these students typically don't care what I write about them in the note to the teacher.
    I'm trying to brainstorm ways to get this to stop more easily. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
     
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  3. CherryOak

    CherryOak Comrade

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    Sep 13, 2022

    Well, when I subbed in elementary and the whole group was jazzed up, I would grab a book and do a read aloud to settle them. Most would naturally listen and quiet down for a story without me even saying much. I'm not sure that'd be helpful for middle though. The concept of using something they all know requires calmness might apply, though. ?
     
  4. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Sep 13, 2022

    Middle school kids do still enjoy being read to. Last year I covered a class for a teacher who had very little classroom control. She under planned activities and gave students free time. I’m talking 30 minutes of free time. I was not going to do that. I went to my classroom and grabbed one of my favorite novels. I stretched her lessons by pulling from my bag of tricks as a veteran teacher, then I would read to them at the end.

    We also had a staff “scary teacher” and admin who would gladly come to a room and give a quick “Come to Jesus” meeting as needed.
     

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