1st graders are very needy. I've had great days subbing in 1st grade, but 2 of my worst days ever were also in 1st grade. it all depends on the class. i've also had really bad days in 5th--but i really enjoy the kids. i'd say 5th and 1st are hardest. if you can do both, you can do anything!!
! I've been a long-term sub in 1st (and I love it) and now I'm moving up to 5th! I don't think either grade is difficult. When I subbed I liked both. The one grade I don't like is 6th. What a monumental change between 5th graders and 6th graders.
When I subbed, I used to hate Pre-k, Kinder, and middle school & up. I know that limited my subbing possibilities, but those were the grades that I enjoyed the least. The memory with Pre-K and Kinder was taking up lunch and snack money. Well, the kids had no clue what they were paying for and I did not know either. It was always just a mess. Plus, these are the groups that I think are too clingy and needy (with good reason), but I would just rather be somewhere else. Of course, I teach 1st grade & love it (especially after Christmas break when they become more independent). 1st graders love their teachers and try hard to make you happy. The older kids no longer love you. You are just another adult trying to make them do something.
I love K through about second. Third, fourth, and fifth are ok, but not my pick. I hate middle school though. I have done it twice for art. It was really easy lessons, but I just hate their attitudes and I just have no experience with them. Some people love them, I just think it's a really awkward stage in their life!