There will always be one or two trying kids in every classroom ( or even more than a few). But how you present yourself and act with them will mean more than what you say sometimes.
One such case this year. I'll call him Max. Max comes from a tough family life. He's being raised by his grandma. His siblings also have behavior problems. I don't know what I did or said, but Max really likes me. To the fact that I'm the only sub that he listens to.
I was subbing for the English portion of the kids' day and my friend was subbing next door for the Spanish part. I had Max all morning and had no problems at all. We switched classes for the day and he ran from her three times. The next week I was back and he was fine, but ran for a different substitute.
Now the teacher requests me if she can because she knows he will obey me. She asked me what I did with him to make him loyal to me. The only thing I can think of is that I smile at all the kids, greet each kid as they come in the classroom, and if I'm frustrated, I talk in a firm but low voice (if I remember to!)
I've caught Max smiling on occasion in the class, especially this last week when we had Christmas presents going and Christmas music playing. I was laughing as I helped kiddos. A safe and warm environment is what they have in that classroom, something stable. Something he doesn't get at home.
But Max knows he'll get a smile from me. And sometimes, that is all he needs. Because a smile from someone generally makes you smile and can make your day brighter This quote is very fitting:
They may forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel." - Carol Buchner