Teachers Inspire Ireland

Teachers Inspire is an Ireland-wide initiative that seeks to celebrate teachers and to recognise the transformative role they play in our lives and in our communities.

Hosted by acclaimed author Louise O’Neill, the Teachers Inspire podcast meets inspirational teachers, those whose lives they’ve touched along with researchers and educators, discussing topics including early childhood education, inclusion in education, mental health and wellbeing, teaching gifted children and STEM education.

To share your own story of a teacher who made a difference in your life, go to teachersinspire.ie.

Producer: Elaine Keogh

Meet the four Teachers Inspire awardees of 2023
13 min
The teacher who inspired Abbott Elementary
12 min
DCU’s unique Teacher Fellowship Programme
17 min
Why are there more ‘Miss’ teachers than ‘Mr’ ?
21 min
Teachers Inspire awardee Gemma Maher
For the final time in this series we meet one of the 2022 Teachers Inspire awardees and the parent who nominated her.
22 min
DCU - valuing autistic students and staff
DCU is unique when it comes to autism because in 2018, it became the world's first designated autism-friendly university and plans were announced last year to make it an even friendlier campus for autistic staff and students with the launch of phase two of the autism-friendly project.
20 min
The freedom to be who you are
The teenage years bring challenges for all young people. For this episode Louise is joined by Jacob Donegan who by the age of six knew he was not in the right body.
21 min
DCU’s Graduate Diploma in SPHE/RSE - underpinne...
Louise is joined by Drs Kay Maunsell and Leanne Coll who, with their DCU colleagues, deliver a ground breaking Graduate Diploma in SPHE/RSE.
20 min
What Teachers Inspire is all about
2022 awardee Ruairi Farrell on his nomination and the role teachers can have in a student’s life.
15 min
Dr Katriona O’Sullivan and the teachers she has...
Her memoir ‘Poor” has been a bestseller for months, it has won two awards in recent weeks and in this episode Dr Katriona O’Sullivan joins Louise to talk about the teachers at primary and second level that she has never forgotten.
20 min
Young children and STEM education
Free play and fun, Lego and Barbie all get a mention in this fascinating discussion Louise has with Prof Hamsa Venkat, the Naughton Family Chair in Early Years/Primary STEM education in DCU.
24 min
Mixed or single-sex schools?
Two secondary school principals join Louise to discuss one of the big questions for parents, and students, when it comes to selecting a secondary school.
24 min
A million reasons to nominate…
There is no better way to start the 2023 podcast series than with one of our most recent awardees.
18 min
The DCU Teachers Inspire Awardees
For the final episode of this series the podcast comes to you from DCU, the home of Teachers Inspire. A special event was held there for the four teachers who are our Teachers Inspire awardees for this year at which Louise presented them with their award. The teachers are Gemma Maher from County Dublin, Joe McAndrew from County Mayo, Jennifer Hutton from County Carlow and Ruairi Farrell from County Wicklow. Gemma and Jennifer were nominated by a parent while Joe and Ruairi were nominated by a former student. For this episode they tell Louise what it means to them to have been nominated and the positive impact the awards have.
12 min
Professor Mathias Urban, Desmond Chair of Early...
In this episode, Professor Mathias Urban, Desmond Chair of Early Childhood Educate and Director of the Early Childhood Research Centre at DCU is Louise’s guest. He talks about DCU’s decision to use a donation from Mr. Dermot Desmond to set up the only dedicated research centre at university level in Ireland that looks at questions around early childhood from an interdisciplinary angle.
22 min
Well known mathematician and broadcaster Dr Aoi...
In this episode Louise is joined by Dr Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin, an Assistant Professor in the School of Mathematics & Statistics at UCD. Dr Ní Shúilleabháin talks about her love of education and how she did not initially set out to be a teacher.
22 min
DCU’s STEM Teacher Internship Programme (STInt)...
In this episode Louise hears about a unique programme that DCU offers student teachers at primary and secondary level. Professor Deirdre Butler from the school of STEM Education, Innovation and Global Studies tells Louise the programme, “is actually globally unique.”
17 min
DCU’s Changemaker Schools Network is helping to...
This episode looks at DCU’s Changemaker Schools Network which is a collaborative, professional, learning network of 19 primary schools from all over the island of Ireland who are creating systemic change in education. Louise hears from Fiona Collins, the network coordinator.
21 min
Nominations for Teachers Inspire 2022 remind us...
Every year Teachers Inspire receives nominations that continue to remind us of the role teachers can play and how sometimes a single sentence or suggestion can make a powerful impact. In this episode, Louise introduces us to two of the nominators.
24 min
DCU Alumni, now working in the education sector...
DCU Alumni can be found around the globe and in this episode Louise is joined by two who remain deeply committed to education.
27 min
The teachers of tomorrow at DCU's Institute of ...
Celebrating the influence and impact teachers have had on their students is at the heart of Teachers Inspire. Louise’s guest for this episode is Professor Anne Looney, Executive Dean of DCU’s Institute of Education.
21 min
DCU’s Centre for Talented Youth Ireland has pro...
It is thirty years since DCU set up it’s Centre for Talented Youth Ireland for children who are high achievers. We hear from a student who has done a number of the courses and Louise chats to Colm O’Reilly, Director of CTY Ireland.
19 min
Wherever you are in the world, you can nominate...
Louise talks to Rob O'Hanrahan, Dublin about when and why he nominated his English teacher and, Elaine Murray, now living in New Zealand explains why she nominated her teacher from Drogheda.
22 min
'Mental health and wellbeing of students 'is fu...
The importance of wellbeing and mental health feature in this episode where Louise hears about an inspirational teacher who made a huge difference to a 6th year student.
21 min
The benefits for children of reading and playin...
A love of reading and the pleasure, and benefits, of reading to children feature in this episode of the Teachers Inspire podcast.
21 min