Inspirational Teachers leave Lasting Impressions

Who Inspires You?

Recently I was able to personally thank one of my first inspiring role models - Mrs Barbara Atkins. Way back in 1983, at Torbay School, Mrs Atkins was my amazing Standard 3 (Year 5) teacher. 
 2015 meets 1983
Mrs Atkins read aloud Joy Cowley's 'The Silent One'. I will never forget the story, I felt like I was transported to ...and as Mrs Atkins was from the Cook Islands, and stunningly beautiful, I looked up and admired her. She was inspirational, calm, encouraging, fair and memorable. Her genuine interest in us went a long way, even with the number of rowdy boys we had. We spent lots of time being active outdoors, and learning was fun! Bumping into her at the ANZAC parade in Browns Bay this year, was an absolute highlight. Both Barbara and her husband Jim were thrilled I thanked her for the lasting impression she has had on me. 

At Intermediate, again I was lucky to have dedicated, passionate and enthusiastic teachers in an Open Plan environment. Unlike many open plan scenarios, this one worked. We had two experienced teachers, alongside a beginning teacher. The Year 7 and 8s were grouped on ability and stage, rather than age. We also spent loads of time outdoors, including three camps in two years! 

College Days were no exception - well in some subjects anyway. English, Japanese and Science stood out for me.


Common elements of my memorable and inspiring teachers:

  • wicked sense of humour
  • they really knew me
  • challenged me with ideas, texts
  • we had rich conversations
  • I was actively involved
  • explored, created, sparked curiosity
  • high trust and autonomy
  • Choice and leadership opportunities
  • they were passionate about life
  • FUN!

Lessons Learned

As an experienced educator and leader, I have continued to strive to be the best I can for my learners. Yes, it is hard work, however, it certainly is worth it. I started this blog to show gratitude and think about what really makes an inspiring teacher. In my new role, I have the privilege of working with many educators, and although I am not based in one classroom, nor one school, I want to always remember and acknowledge the amazing work our teachers and leaders are doing. As I work with schools, I am always drawing on my experiences, remembering both the opportunities and the challenges! I really do believe that we need to empower our learners, build strong partnerships with our whānau and community, and work collaboratively.

Thankfully, as parents, we are fortunate our four children continue to be inspired and challenged by their teachers. They represent our future, so it is pertinent that we continue to invest in their education. An education that is future focused, celebrates diversity, and importantly is responsive to the individual. 

Working with @renascenceNZ in the Maker Space @HPSS

Lasting Impressions

Who inspired you? What kind of teacher / leader do you choose to be? 
Who will you thank? Why? I would love to hear your journey. Let's ensure we continue providing a quality education for all.

A timely reminder here...

 #fair4teachers #good4students