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Surviving Substitute Teaching Middle School
I'm a newly licensed graduate who has had to take substitute teaching positions because of budget cuts. I've been taking whatever I can get. Unfortunately, the middle school students treat me like dirt and seem to almost feel like it is their duty to abuse, mock, berrate, and generally make me feel unwelcome. I've had profanity written on the board and shouted out in class, had students openly mock the way I looked and acted, and possibly had petty pranks played in my classroom. Things are out of control, and I don't really know how to restore order and make the students comfortable with me. I know I'm not scoring points with the admins if I have all of these discipline problems. It might keep me from getting hired when positions come available. I'm strict, but sometimes it doesn't help.
What has worked:
Giving candy or prizes to good students (this is not very effective and sometimes results in students begging at the end of class.)
Sending disruptive students out of the room (this is really only effective if I successfully identify the ring-leader and administration takes my concerns seriously.)
Laying down my own rules (this is only for when anarchy ensues. Unfortunately, this, too, is not very effective if I am not able to ennforce my rules.)
What has not worked:
Citing students for every little offense (If I establish a "no talking" rule most of the class will scream, yell, and make as much noise as they please.)
This isn't all...