A well-known teacher who has given 40 years’ service at schools across Stirlingshire has said she rates Bankier Primary above all others.
Ella Toon, depute head teacher at the Banknock school, retired last Tuesday after being given an emotional send-off by staff, pupils and parents.
I am looking forward to retiring, but I will miss the school and the children terriblyElla Toon
The 60-year-old joined the staff at Bankier in 1989 before leaving several years later to teach at a school in Cowie.
“I didn’t want to leave first time around,” she said.
“But the old Central Region policy was that if a school’s roll dropped you could be transferred elsewhere.”
Mrs Toon, of Bannockburn, would return to Banknock in August 2001 as depute head.
“I was ecstatic,” she said.
Pupils said farewell to the popular teacher last week, when she received flowers from primary four pupil Ellie Murphy, along with gifts from staff and the PTA.
A surprise party was held last month.
“I have very mixed feelings,” she said. “I am looking forward to retiring, but I will miss the school and the children terribly.
“This is a lovely school - we get great support from parents and the wider community.”
When asked what had changed in teaching since she entered the profession in 1975, she said: “It’s a completely different job compared to when I started. There is much more paperwork and politics associated with the job.
“Some things are cyclical - rote learning, where pupils chant their times tables, became very out of fashion, but it is now returning.
“But there are so many aspects of the job that have improved. Pupils are listened to so much more now. It used to be that children were seen and not heard - that’s not the case now.”
Mrs Toon, who celebrated her 60th birthday last Wednesday, will spend her retirement with husband Charles, and is looking forward to spending more time with her grandchildren.