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Inspirational teachers: John Hattie, Julia Gillard, Dylan Wiliam and Nancie Atwell

Inspirational teachers: John Hattie, Julia Gillard, Dylan Wiliam and Nancie Atwell

October 30 is World Teachers' Day in Australia, and the theme for 2015 is 'Empowering teachers, building sustainable societies'.

Today we celebrate the efforts of teachers, and acknowledge the valuable contribution that they have made to the community.

To honour the work that you do, Teacher has put together a special video series where educators, public figures and members of the education community reflect on the teachers who inspired them when they were at school.

In Part 2, Professor John Hattie, Former Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard, Emeritus Professor Dylan Wiliam, and winner of the inaugural Global Teacher Prize, Nancie Atwell, share their choices.

To watch the first part of this series, Inspiring teachers: Part 1, click the link.

Who was your most inspirational teacher and why? Share your reflections with Teacher by emailing

David 10 July 2016

I would like to second Gayle’s comment. I was lucky enough to have James Cantwell at Strathmore High School back in the 1980’s. He was a good mathematician, and it used to frustrate him when kids had potential and didn’t fulfil it. That was the case with me. What he did leave me with was a love of mathematics and an appreciation of a concisely expressed idea.  There were other great teachers at that school - Ken Harbottle - who later became principal, Peter Lewis, who could make anything play music, Gwenda Clarke, amongst others. I would also like to pay tribute to a teacher who was only at Strathmore High for a couple of years - Sam Birnbaum. He was a music teacher, and a gifted pianist.

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