Au revoir to Tarbert teacher Christine

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Tarbert runs through the veins of Christine Inglis.

Or more accurately, perhaps, Tarbert Academy does.

A native of the Loch Fyne-side fishing village, she went to school in Tarbert before returning in the 1980s to teach French at Tarbert Academy.

She taught at the school for 30 years, and the recent end of term marked the end of that long career, as Christine moves towards retirement.

The Advertiser took the opportunity to talk to Christine before the school holidays as she took a break from clearing out decades of (in her words) clutter from office cupboards.

‘Teaching is something I’ve always wanted to do, even from when I was very wee in early primary school,’ explained Christine.

‘My Favourite subject was French, so I have been very fortunate to become a teacher in something I’ve always loved.’

After a decade at Hermitage Academy, she transferred to Tarbert in August 1987 and retires as the academy’s head of faculty, languages and social subjects.

Looking back over the decades, Christine’s overriding memories revolve around people. ‘I just remember a lot of fun and laughs will colleagues and friends as well as pupils. I have enjoyed watching pupils and colleagues progress in their careers, and I am grateful for all the support my friends have given to me through life’s journey.’

She remembers, slightly less fondly, technology that offered its own challenges. ‘When I started we used reel-to-reel tape to record. Finding where conversations started and stopped was not easy. In fact, cassette recorders were a big step forward.’
Technology may have changed the teaching of languages, but there have been other trends over the years.

‘Years ago when I began teaching teaching French, it was all about grammar. People will remember the rules of grammar being drummed in.

These days it’s all about conversational French. That, in my view, is a lot more sensible.’

Pupils taught by Christine are now bringing in their own children to Tarbert Academy, and this is a source of pride of Christine. ‘Over the years the kids have been fantastic. They always greeted me with a ‘bonjour, madame’ – even in the street. I love seeing the next generation coming through. Tarbert Academy is a lovely school, and the atmosphere has always been great.’

Tarbert Academy has formed a big part of Christine Inglis’ life and there is little doubt she will miss the people, the routine, and the building itself. But, aged just 62, she has no plans to lapse into quiet retirement.

‘I have plenty I want to do, now that I have the time,’ she said. ‘I have granny duties and I want to see more of my two daughters and grandchildren.

‘Then there’s travel, which I very much enjoy. and I want to do more yoga, Pilates and walking.’

Christine joked: ‘What I really aspire to being is a lady who lunches.’