I finally found out what the deal was with Mrs. Halloway. To recall, I was hired as a long-term substitute teacher a week before school started because it was unclear whether Mrs. Halloway was going to return.
I had assumed that it was a medical issue or maybe a sick family member. The reason I assumed that is because none of the other teachers ever talked about. I finally got the gossip from Dania. We were both working late tonight. She wanted to change her lesson plans or something, but anyway she stopped by my room before the building was closing up and we go to talking.
It turns out Mrs. Halloway and her family are perfectly healthy. Mrs. Halloway didn’t return this year because Connie (our principal) had given her a less than proficient cumulative evaluation. For the record, Mrs. Halloway has been teaching for 20 years. Her and Dania go way back.
The reason for the poor evaluation is because Mrs. Halloway was a strong believer in big projects. She felt the classroom worked as a team to build giant models of things. Last year they apparently built a scale model of downtown Chicago. She taught her kids to use proportions and scale and Dania said her kids spent a lot of time in the library and computer lab researching buildings. It sounds really cool, actually.
Well, Mrs. Halloway was upset and repealed the evaluation, citing that Connie didn’t have anything to back up the score and that Connie didn’t like Mrs. Halloway’s style of teaching. She had to appeal to the district office. The office sided with Mrs. Halloway, and Connie said that next year she would just be better about acquiring proof.
Now I totally get why Mrs. Halloway didn’t come back. Connie was out to get her. Dania told me that Connie has too much power and if you don’t teach the way she wants you to, you’ll be RIF’d at the end of the year and won’t be hired back.
This is a new term for me. It means that a teacher’s contract isn’t renewed and technically the teacher is out of a job.
Dania said that more than half the school was RIF’d last year, including her, in March. She was hired back by the end of June.
It’s basically guaranteed I’ll be RIF’d. The question now is whether I majorly kiss Connie’s ass and get on her good side somehow, or just teach the way I want to teach.