As soon as you walk in the door, you should be confident and be prepared. Review the plans and know what is expected of you. Introduce yourself, and explain that you may do things differently than their teacher and reassure them that that is okay. Explain the work that they are expected to do and have the students help to check off each item as it is completed. Finally, make sure to keep them busy--even if they are finished with the work.
There are a number of different techniques substitutes can utilize to gain respect and control of a classroom. Listed in this article are several games and strategies to make the day fun and engaging for students. In one approach, the 15 point method allows for students to gain points toward a reward at the end of the lesson by completing their work, being respectful, being quiet, etc. If they are able to achieve those points they can receive a special reward like extra free time or a movie.
By following these 8 steps, substitute teachers will be able to control their classroom much more effectively. Be sure to talk to students at the beginning of class, act as if you are in control, avoid being too friendly, be sure to discipline from the beginning, avoid confrontations, believe in each and every student, ensure that the students stay busy, and have a referral slip at your fingertips. Many times just showing them that it is a possibility will keep the children from acting out.
Sometimes, even the regular teacher has difficulty taking control of the class. If you are in a tough spot with an unruly class, there are plenty of resources and strategies to get you through. Some tips include moving the furniture around to encourage a new environment, investing time and showing you care, acknowledging that you are there to help them, and treating it like the first day by establishing expectations. Collaborating with other teachers can also go a long way.
Classroom management--definitions and strategies are discussed in this 9-minute video. Build a general relationship with students and greet them as soon as they walk into the room. This foundation will help carry you throughout the rest of the day. Be respectful of them, and listen to each and every one of them. Perhaps most importantly, do not judge them.