I just got bitchslapped by a school full of kids

Well, being a supply teacher sucks.

Of course the kids are going to try and give you a hard time! Of course they’re going to be little monsters - they’re not likely to ever see you again and what’re you gonna do, supply boy?

The most frustrating part of the whole experience was that they simply would. not. let me teach 'em something. I guess I’ve been spoiled somewhat by the private sector - one on one tuition is heaven compared to that rabble.

Think I’ll stick to the good life :frowning:

How old are the kids?

Over on this side of the Pond, we call them substitute teachers. I don’t think all kids are like what you had today. I hope not!

shoots a spitball at the OP

Seriously though, my dad’s been there and done that. Oh the stories…

The kids ranged from 11 years to 14/15. There were one or two bright spots, but overall the complete apathy towards the lessons was truely remarkable. The sheer effort they put into giving me a hard time was far in excess of what they’d have had to put into the set work :rolleyes:

I remember once in 7th grade when we had a substitute teacher (that’s what we call 'em over here where we speak American! :stuck_out_tongue: ) and the class (not me, but a majority of students) was so badly behaved, they actually drove her to tears! She was very young. At this point, I’m going to guess she was maybe mid-20s?

Anyway, my point is, of all the subs I ever had in my public school years (all 12 of 'em), it was only once that things got that ugly.

So this experience was probably the exception to the rule.

Well, I’m not giving up the ghost quite yet. I’m going to try this out at least 3 times before I decide to make it a permanent fixture in my life. Right now though, I’m not looking forward to the next couple of tries!

Release your Inner Bastard. We all know you’ve got one–you’re British. Go all cold and icy–do the polite stare of Death thing.

If that doesn’t work, release your Inner Lout. Lather, rinse, repeat.

You need to take control from minute one, so I suggest a posture that says, “don’t F with me” as well as an unblinking stare as you call roll (take attendance). Carrying a clipboard and making “notes” about individuals can also create an atmosphere of intimidation. You only need the atmosphere until they settle in. Then you can be nice IOMDave again. Just my tuppence.

Yeah, subs get no respect. My father, at the ripe old age of 79, still subs at the local high school (what Europeans might equate to “gymnasium,” IIRC) and it’s his observation that the respect he gets as a sub is directly related to the respect the students have for the regular teacher. If you got “bitch-slapped” by a bunch of young teens, I’m guessing the regular teacher doesn’t have very hgh standards.

Oh my god. This sounds hauntingly familiar. Were you in my 7th grade? We were little pricks.

Kids in my school would occasionally switch names for the day.

Oh god, I subbed for a year at all grades, but most often in middle school. They just don’t care (for the most part). It definitely depends on your area, and yeah, being a sub makes a difference, but I will never, ever consider teaching middle school. I do want to teach, and right now I’m deciding between HS and college.

It’s really just kind of sad. You have a few kids who try to pay attention, but they can’t get anything because of the kids who are fucking about and being distracting, you have the kids who are distracting other kids and don’t care, so they’re not getting an education either. It’s sad, because with classes like that, you know no one is learning anything. It never bothered me because they were being assholes, it bothered me that they didn’t even know they were digging themselves holes that they might never climb out of. It’s just the oblivion that really struck me.

Sorry to be all doom and gloom. If you are interested in teaching please don’t give that up. I haven’t (yet), and still believe that I’m doing the right thing and that I’m going to find it enriching and rewarding. Just think of subbing as your dark rite of passage.

As a karmic thing, let me offer my sincere apologies for my behaviour as a kid.
From the age of five to fifteen, it was the sworn duty of my classmates (and me) to give the substitute teacher hell.
Making them cry was a bonus and won the class points with the rest of the school.
I’ve felt bad about it for many years.
We were little shits and we knew exactly what we were doing.
You and your brethren deserved better.

My advice is to be extremely verbose. Talk a lot. Keep talking until you’re hoarse, then talk some more. Talk quickly and don’t pause. Talk loud, so they can’t help but pay attention. If you have look something up in a book, or turn around to write on the balckboard, keep talking as you do it.

Tough to do, but if you can pull it off I think the kids might not be able to avoid paying attention. Maybe take a bunch of amphetamines before going in. Get wired.

Not if you lived in Cincinnati back then, too; I grew up in a suburb of Baltimore.

I, personally, was not a little prick, but a lot of my classmates were.

I wasn’t a prick until about 7th or 8th grade, when, in a misguided attempt to be one of the cool kids, I dabbled in prickishness. Luckily, I abandoned the plan by 9th grade.

At the risk of hijacking this thread, I’m going to speculate that maybe this is a common reason why so many middle-school kids are hard to handle; in grade-school, most of the kids are happy to just be what they are, and let other kids be what they are. By the time they reach high-school, a lot of kids have “grown into themselves” or found their own essential selves or something. But in middle-school, there’s an in-between place, a place of discontent, with the urge to fit in better, be more popular, etc.

Sorry for the soap box, folks; really, I’m just thinking out loud here. :wink:

Well, it’s good to know that it wasn’t specifically me that was to blame!

@Maggenpye: don’t worry about it. I once had a full out shouting match with a supply (sub) teacher back in school, so it’s probably my own karma biting me in the ass. I may cash yours in at a later date though :stuck_out_tongue:

I got called into a different school today - actually, it was the high school I went to back in the day. Whole different experience. The kids were a lot more respectful, a lot better behaved and I delivered all my lessons successfully, even with a bit of friendly conversation along the way. When I commented on this to the staff, they got a knowing look in their eye and said: “Yep. We get that a lot.”

So in any case, my faith in the “Yoof of Today” is on its way to being partially restored!

IMHO, how a particular class treats a substitute teachers speaks a whole lot about the regular teacher. We were merciless with Miss Janis’ subs, because she was a pathetic teacher who wanted to be our friend, so even if she found out about it, she wouldn’t do anything.

Miss Seppa, on the other hand - woo-wee! We were *angels *for her subs, 'cause she would call the sub to find out how we behaved, and if we acted up, we knew we’d be copying dictionary pages instead of going out for recess for a month!

I actually remember something a sub said to this day. She was subbing for our biology class and said if we ever needed to remember which era comes after which, she used this mnemonic when she was in school: Can Oscar See Down His Pants Pocket?

I don’t remember the eras of course, but I sure remember that mnemonic!

Oh look, bright shiny stuff! /leaves

I also think a lot of it comes from the fact that they’re coming into their hormones, so they’re experiencing all sorts of social and biological changes, and they have NO idea what to do with these new feelings. So a lot of them channel it into ridiculous things, like not being able to stay in their seats, or being a complete prick as much as possible. Think of the “I like you so I’m going to pull on your pigtail” phenomenon.