Keep Informed > Where Are You Now? > 1980-1989 > Christine Hartis Emms

Where Are You Now?

Christine Hartis Emms

Christine Hartis Emms 

Foundation Course in Art and Design 1980

BA (Hons) Fine Art 1983

Christine works a Senior Teacher at the SEND Kuwait English School. Her career as an educator spans 34 years in Northern Ireland and England schools, and the last four years in Egypt and Kuwait schools.

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art, Christine started teaching Art & Technology, Drama and PE. She then worked her way up the ranks and became Head of Faculty for Art & Design Technology in a school in Cumbria.

She said: “I seemed to do very well with the students everyone else had difficulties with and added further Special Needs qualifications to my bow and began working with Special Needs students in mainstream settings."

Eventually she became a Head Teacher and was one of the first cohorts of teachers to complete the NPQH course (a prerequisite now to become a senior leader in any school in the UK).  But after four years the Sunderland graduate realised that she preferred being in the classroom face to face with the students and stepped back to a Senior Teacher role in a different authority.

Asked about her greatest achievement to date Christine commented: “My greatest achievement has been giving the opportunity to thousands of students an appreciation of themselves and what they can achieve when given a positive and proactive approach to life.”

Talking about her biggest challenge the 54-year-old said: “It has been finding ways to reach the ‘hard to teach’, the children who have been written off by the system and give them the opportunity to shine.”

Since leaving the University of Sunderland Christine has travelled quite extensively but for pleasure rather than work. She visits Sunderland regularly when she is back in the UK.

She said: “I was fortunate to study in Sunderland. So much going on – so easy to reach other places from there – sea side, forests, green lands. The Glass course was introduced whilst I was there and myself and a few other Fine Art students trialled the facilities.

“My real fortune was to have some fantastic lecturers and fellow students who encouraged nothing but the best from me.”

Christine still recalls the people she met referring to them as a ‘huge extended family’.

“You never felt alone there was always someone around who would provide advice, shoulder to cry on and/ or guidance,” she said. “I am really thankful to have had the opportunity to have mixed with such a wonderful and diverse group of people.”

Christine future plans include retiring from teaching to spend more time on her other passions.

She explained: “I would like to volunteer overseas, have the time to spend on my own creations, volunteer in the local community and give time to rescued animal shelters. I’d like to continue to travel and meet new people and learn more about different cultures. I am after all a lifelong learner and that will never change.”

Christine concluded: “It’s actually rather mind blowing to myself to actually look back over my career and see how many 'new' developments in education I have been involved with that I had forgotten about - we live in the present not the past.”

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