When I sub,I often find it tempting to think that all I have to do is review the names on the roll sheet to know what kind of class I am going to get.Yet this technique is not foolproof.I had a Senior Civics class last year full of newly arrived Asian immigrants who were the rudest most obnoxious class I had all year while a US History class full of Miguel Rioses and Kennitra Washingtons were stellar both behavior and academic wise.
Yet I must say that the best chance of getting a well behaved and self directed class will be one full of Chens,Chans and Zhous.
My least favorite thing to hear was “You are Cool!” and I would tell them that “I am not here to be cool. I am here to teach you. ‘Cool’ means I let you goof off and you didn't learn anything; I'll never see most of you ever again but I want you to learn.”
My other comment that made an impression was “No disparaging language allowed” which I would write upon the board whenever I heard it, I would often have to DEFINE ‘disparaging language’ as speech meant to make people feel bad about themselves. I smiled when a girl told her friend, “NO DISPARAGING LANGUAGE! You are trying to make me feel bad about myself!”.
Subbing was a lot of fun!