From sub to homeroom teacher

Becoming a teacher was always in the back of Allison Eddy’s mind, but she said she did not take the leap until she became a substitute teacher and saw how powerful the connections she formed with her students could be. 

“I was a long-term sub for six weeks, and it felt like my classroom,” she said. “Then one evening I got a text that I was no longer going to be their substitute. That broke my heart. I really knew my students, and I never wanted to be pulled from a class again. So I signed up and got my alternative teaching certification through the state of Texas.”

Eddy is now an accomplished eighth-grade social studies teacher at Thomas J. Rusk Middle School. She has taken on a variety of leadership roles that have made a noticeable difference in her school community. 

“Ms. Eddy has been serving our campus as the unofficial redesign coordinator, arranging all of our intervention rosters, clubs, student schedules, etc., going on two years now,” said Shannon Cagle, a fellow Rusk teacher. “She is also the eighth-grade chair, the Altruismo house leader, and still manages to rock some awesome scores. The students love her and our redesign campus would not have been nearly as successful if it were not for her diligence in organizing everything.” 

As one of Dallas ISD’s five redesign schools for the 2022-2023 school year, Rusk has reimagined every school day to include more time for teachers to collaborate and prepare, as well as more time for student enrichment and acceleration.

Eddy has been at the forefront of those efforts, creating detailed rosters that track test data to rotate students through either reading and math intervention or science and social studies intervention on Redesign Wednesdays. She also builds club schedules based on each student’s interests and club availability to give students the best experience possible during Rusk’s monthly club days. 

“Redesign is always focused on intervention,” Eddy said. “The purpose of Redesign Wednesdays is for teachers to be able to see all of their students and provide small group instruction so they can target TEKs based on the data. And it’s worked. Last year we were ranked ninth out of all middle schools in Dallas ISD.”

Eddy said she is proud to be transforming student lives at an Accelerating Campus Excellence school like Rusk. Since it became an ACE school, Rusk has gone from an “F” rating to a high “B,” and Eddy said it is “a great place to work.”

“At this point I’ve taught siblings, I’ve taught cousins—I’ve been teaching full families,” she said. “We call ourselves the Ram Fam here, and that’s one thing that I see as a success: being able to truly connect with my kids. And then once you have those relationships, that’s when I think the data shows.” 

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