Mr Fountain – Morrinsville College: 1997

Jacinda Ardern:  Member of Parliament for the Labour Party

Lives in: Auckland

A Note For: Gregor Fountain: History in 5th and 6th form, Morrinsville College. 1997-98

In 2008 I was sworn into Parliament. My family were all overseas on the day that the formal swearing in took place, and outside of them, there was just one person I wanted to be there for that moment- Mr Fountain, my history teacher.

Too often I think teachers are characterised as the people who give you text books and make you swat for exams. Mr Fountain taught me to be inquiring, to question, to challenge, and he taught me how to see the world through other people’s eyes.

And how do you do that?

With a sheet and a pair of glasses apparently. I arrived in class one chilly morning to see Mr Fountain standing at the front of the room dressed up as Ghandi. It’s been over 15 years and I still remember that lesson.

I am lucky, not only did I have a teacher who inspired me, I had a chance to say thank you. Have you?

Emma Bettle