Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.
Children are much more disrespectful then they were when you and I were when we were students. The values of our society have changed for the worse, and there are so many pernicious values taught on the TV, and so many children with both parents working, or from single parent families. It makes it difficult.
I have several tips for you.
Talk to them about their behavior. Sometimes, they may not be aware that they are being disruptive. Ask then to please stop doing it when it the behavior occurs or ask to see them after class.
Warn them that they will get into trouble if they persist, and tell them what you are going to do. It is harder for a substitute and you must be firm.
If you think it will not cause further problems and make things worse (and this is a judgement call on your part), call their parents and talk about the disruptive behavior, if you school will allow it.
If you feel that the student is a security risk or may be violent, notify school security either about a particular incident, or about the child in general.
Report the significant incidents or longstanding problems to the principal's office
Keep in mind that the child may have serious problems at home.
If the child has untreated or ineffectively treated ADHD (formerly called ADD) - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, then this should be brought up with the school or district counselor, if there is one, or with the principal.
You also have the option of sending the disruptive child to the office. Sometimes this is the best solution as it not only restores peace to your classroom, but establishes your authority and gives the children a sense of retribution for their misbehavior and disrespect.
Is there any thing else that you would like to mention?
You cannot fix them. That is up to their families. You must however make sure that the problems are documented so that this behavior gets back to their families through the school administration.
I have been a substitute teacher before in a relatively respectful small town environment, and even in such an environment, it is a stressful job maintaining order AND teaching.
If they see you as kind and caring but ALSO no pushover, you will have your best results.
I understand that you have nothing to add or ask at the moment, and so I will transfer you over to the Q & A mode and you can get back to me afterwards if you have any other thoughts or follow-up questions.
I wish you continued courage and perseverance. You have a tough job and you have my respect for sticking with with, having been there myself.
Please give me a positive rating for my effort (ABC and not D or F).
Elliott Sewell, MAE, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC
You never really gave me concrete tools to use or say in the different situations.