Shieldhill Primary: Teacher Rhona Gardner leaves after 37 years at same school

A teacher who taught in the same school for 37 years said there was something to smile about every day.

Friday, 8th July 2022, 6:14 pm
Updated Monday, 11th July 2022, 6:54 pm

Rhona Gardner decided to take early retirement after nearly four decades at Shieldhill Primary School.

Her last class was the infants in Primary One but she said during her career she taught every age group.

She said: “I spent a long time with P1 and then went up the school but then came back to infants. I think that I’ve been up and down the whole school.”

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Rhona Gardner with some of her tiny charges as she takes early retirement after 37 years teaching at Shieldhill Primary

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Brought up in Grangemouth where she attended the town’s high school Rhona said there was never ever any thought of doing anything but teaching.

"It’s what I always wanted to do, in fact, there was never a Plan B.”

After school she went straight to teacher training college at Moray House in Edinburgh and her first job on qualifying was at Shieldhill Primary where she remained ever since.

Rhona, 57, added: “Over the years there have been many changes: the village has grown, the school has been expanded at least a couple of times and education has changed, but I’ve loved my time as a teacher.

"The community has always made me feel very welcome. They treated me like one of their own and I’ve been happy to stay at the school.

"I was eventually teaching the children of children I taught when I first came to Shieldhill.”

Looking back at her many memories, Rhona said she would never forget the many children she had taught over the years. “They would come in every day with all their stories and there was always something to smile about every day,” she added.

However, Rhona admits that she never ever thought that a pandemic would find her sitting at home teaching youngsters over a video link.

"The last two years have been very different. Before all this I never thought I would be able to be at home and the children would be in their homes sitting with their pyjamas and cowboy hats on and I would be teaching.”

Rhona admits to having no great plans at the moment for all her new-found free time but plans to do some more gardening at her Brightons home and look for her next adventure.