Thanks to a generous philanthropic donation, Dublin City University has launched a major national initiative to recognise the transformative role of teachers. This is the first time that a national campaign will highlight the enormous contribution made by teachers in Irish society.
The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD joined with the President of Dublin City University, Professor Brian MacCraith to announce details of Teachers Inspire Ireland, an initiative that will invite members of the public to share their personal story of how a teacher transformed their lives and/or their community.
Teachers Inspire Ireland is seeking stories from across the island of Ireland which demonstrate how a teacher has inspired excellence, passion, imagination, creativity, compassion and courage. Stories can be either written or on video and submitted through the teachersinspire.ie website. After the closing date at the end of June, a shortlist of the most compelling stories will be chosen by a panel; details of which will be announced shortly.
The campaign will culminate in the inaugural Teachers Inspire Ireland gala dinner in DCU on September 27th 2019, at which teachers from across Ireland will be acknowledged and celebrated. Teachers will be presented with the Desmond Awards, named after businessman and philanthropist Dermot Desmond, who has generously supported the initiative.
Speaking at the launch, the President of DCU Professor Brian MacCraith said:
“DCU is delighted to play a central role in the development of Teachers Inspire Ireland. This is a significant national initiative that recognises the incredible work of so many teachers in changing lives and advancing communities across Ireland. It is important that exceptional teachers get the validation and recognition they deserve.”
Speaking at the launch, Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD said:
“I welcome the development of this initiative, which acknowledges the pivotal contribution of teachers to our society. Throughout Ireland, teachers go above and beyond to give their students the best possible learning experience. They not only teach, they motivate, encourage and inspire.”
Speaking at the launch Dr Anne Looney, Executive Dean, DCU’s Institute of Education said:
“The Irish Teacher is a national treasure. Researchers and policy-makers from across the world want to know how to replicate what we have. They can’t. It’s a combination of the value we place on education, our cultural values, and the high regard we have for those who choose to become teachers. We can never take any of this for granted. This campaign is a chance to remind ourselves of that, and to remind teachers that they do important work that makes a difference and changes lives.”
Katie O’Brien, a second year student from Loreto College in Swords was also present at the launch and spoke about the impact of teachers in her life:
“My teachers have definitely helped me to figure out my strengths and interests. Since starting secondary school, my current Maths teacher has really inspired me to think about a career in STEM in the future. I wouldn’t have considered this before but he really goes above and beyond in helping our class to enjoy the subject and has opened our minds to the opportunities which a career in STEM could offer us in the future.”