Teachers who work as substitutes know that it is something of an adventurous and often uncertain job. You will most likely substitute for multiple different grades in multiple different schools not knowing what to expect. You can prepare yourself and the lesson by trying these ideas for substitutes. Then you can walk into any classroom and be one step ahead.
For the Mischievous Pranksters
Undoubtedly every substitute teacher has faced the wrath of an ingeniously unruly student who excellently leads a group of other students into mischief. Roll call is one of the most difficult things substitutes have to do since they don't actually know any of the students. Be prepared for some who might answer "here" to other students' names. Perhaps have the roll call sheet go around the room and instruct students to check off where their names are.
Introduce Learning Games
The attention span of any human is relatively short and is usually even shorter for young kids and teens. Break up the monotony of structured learning by introducing some educational games. This will force students to focus and be present. Plus, you are giving them an extra "brain boost" to help them last through the rest of the school day.
You can ensure students get the most from their lesson by engaging them in open communication and questions. If you are reading through the textbook, don't shoot through the whole text without stopping. Take a few breaks and stop at certain points to quiz the students or ask about their perspective or knowledge of the subject.
---photo credit: Building Earthquake "Life Safe" buildings - (license)