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Inspiring Teachers Recognised Nationwide

Inspiring Teachers Recognised Nationwide

All New Zealanders are being invited to share stories of the teacher who had the greatest impact on their lives in an online initiative launched today.

‘InspiredbyU’ is being launched as part of the inaugural Festivals of Education (to be held in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch from 21 March). Using virtual postcards, thousands of New Zealanders will have the opportunity to share the story of the teacher that had the biggest impact on their lives.

Prime Minister John Key was among the first to share his ’InspiredbyU’ story, writing an oversize postcard to his former teacher – Rob Hughes – who taught him economics at Burnside High School, and who still teaches economics at the same school today.

In the postcard, he writes: “Dear Rob, I was inspired by you because you had a love, passion, and great knowledge of economics. You added to my desire to make a difference to New Zealand.”

Education Minister Hekia Parata added her “inspiring teacher” story to the launch, identifying Mrs Patricia Fitzpatrick, who taught Ms Parata and many of her siblings at Ngata memorial College in Ruatoria.

Ms Parata writes: “I was inspired by you because you:
• Encouraged my LOVE of reading
• Broadened my taste in literature
• Bolstered my confidence when other kids thought it was pretty nerdy
• And you were big on “big words” (though not bureaucratic ones!)”

Members of the public are invited to create their own digital postcards, sharing their teacher story online, Large-scale postcards from around 200 prominent New Zealanders will also be exhibited at the Festivals.

Chris Sullivan, General Manager of Knowledge and Growth for Cognition Education, says

“The Festivals of Education are all about celebrating excellence and innovation in our wider education system, and teachers play a crucial role in this. It’s important that we celebrate the enormous contribution our educators make to society and the InspiredbyU website is a nice way of doing this.”

Everyone is welcome to contribute their inspiring teacher story at

The Festivals of Education – free, open-to-the public events including inspiring speakers, interactive displays, activities, food and performance – will take place in Auckland 21-23 March at the Viaduct Events Centre, Christchurch 23 March at Wigram Air Force Museum and in Wellington on 29 March at TSB Bank Arena, Shed 6 and Frank Kitts Park.

For more information or to get involved visit


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