Advice from one retiring Edmond school teacher is, “Do what you love.”
For Robin Tippin, Santa Fe High School French teacher, retiring will be a continuation of what she has loved doing for the past 40 years.
A National Board Certified French teacher, Tippin said, “Teaching is not just my vocation, but my avocation. It is something I love doing. Not once in 40 years did I ever think about changing professions.”
A third generation educator, her grandfather graduated from Kansas University in 1907. He taught high school before becoming a principal and then a superintendent. Her mother earned a degree in English.
Although she is retiring from teaching in Edmond, she is not retiring from teaching, Tippin said.
When telling Robin’s story, her husband’s story also has to be mentioned.
She and Mark met and fell in love when they started teaching at Putnam North the first year it opened in August 1978. Mark taught mathematics and was the girls basketball coach.
They both decided to quit and go back to graduate school where Robin earned her masters degree and Mark went on to obtain his Ph.D. at Oklahoma State University.
When Robin returned to teaching, she taught French at Santa Fe High School.
They both will be on the staff at Rose State Junior College in Midwest City this fall.
Traveling large part of Tippins’ lives
Robin’s father was a colonel in the military and Robin was born in Austria. She grew up in Germany and when her father was assigned to Oklahoma, she attended school in the Putnam City School District.
“When I attended high school my choice was Spanish or French for my foreign language,” Robin said. “I had been to France and lived in Austria and Germany, so French was my choice.”
When her father was stationed in Europe, Robin said her family traveled throughout the European countries.
“My parents’ attitude was, ‘We are here; let’s travel,’” Robin said.
“My parents and my sister Fran and I visited France, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and all over England. We were in West Germany when the wall went up. I was 9 years old but it is still a vivid memory for me.”
In addition to teaching, Robin will continue traveling with her husband Mark, pursuing a passion they both love.
Robin has continued traveling through Europe making stops in France since 1980. She has taken a group of students and parents. This year she is taking her largest group, 35 students, parents and retired faculty members.
Twice she and her husband took 500-mile bicycle trips with students in 1984 and 1988.
“We shipped our bikes from here (Edmond) to Amsterdam, where we cycled through the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and Austria, stopping in Paris to ship the bikes back to the United States,” Robin said. “We started with our church youth Reaffirmation Study Group.
It goes without saying she and her husband love to travel and in recent years her son Daniel and his wife have joined them in their jaunts.
Daniel taught several years before going to work for a medical supply company. His wife, studying to be a nurse, recently sat for her boards.
In recent years the group has flown to Santa Fe, N.M., Washington, D.C., Gettysburg, Penn., and New York City.
“Last year we went to Boston and drove through the little towns and then up to Quebec and Montreal and on to Ottawa,” Robin said.
Future plans include attending the theater and ball games in New York City along with visits to the Bahamas and Key West.
In the fall Robin plans to teach two English classes as an adjunct English teacher at Rose State and to be a stay-at-home doggy mom to their Cavalier King Charles dogs.
“One of our dogs is Sutton, named after OSU’s former basketball coach Eddie Sutton; one is named Buddy. We met Buddy at a meet and greet for rescue dogs. We met and he came and stayed,” Robin said.
“Of course, one day I would love to be a grandmother, but until that day I will be content to being a stay-at-home doggy mom,” she added.