I went to public schools, mostly in Mississippi from the late 50s to the late 60s. Yes, there was always childish pranks, of which I did my share. There was always the talking, but when pranks were played, it was always done in a manner not to get caught. Of course, whatever one did back then, there was a price to pay with the paddle, and your parents waiting for part 2 when one got home. After retiring a little while back, I got a job as a substitute teacher in a public school system here in Kentucky, in a city limit setting. This has been one of the most eye opening experiences of my life, even though I raised kids. I did get a late start on mine, and they are just now starting their families. Anyway, this has been about the biggest challenge in my life as far as adapting to change. Especially at the Jr High level, or middle school as some call it, this goes way beyond the talking, wondering around or pranks, this is out right defiance of respect to teachers. First of all, there is no paddle, and there is no touching. It is pretty much a bluff and sending them to the office. One of the most amazing things is back years ago, when a sub came to teach, it was always tempting to relax your normal behavior. That comes with the job. However, what is happening now, is there is no difference between the regular teacher and sub in how they act. In the very presence of teachers, books are slammed on the floor, incessent talking despite warnings, cursing teachers to their face, and when it comes time to face the consequences, (what a laugh), they could care less. Actually, I am suprised how well I am adapting. I feel a sense that these kids are on the brink of disaster, and want to do anything I can to help while I am there and give some sense of direction. Lots of these kids have no similance of love, direction, or a true parent at home. They are either stoned out of their mind, in jail, or have rotating bed partners. As I said, there is a certain satifaction in this job if one can adapt, or just make a little difference. Sometimes I do come home with a parched throat though. I guess I say all of this to ask for any thoughts or advice, or would you ever attempt such a job?