I offer a brief account of my experience with teaching public international law over the past decade or so. In particular, I focus on having to convene a large, compulsory course in international law for an Australian law school. Making relatively small tweaks (e.g. devoting time to the right to self-determination or to Indigenous peoples as subjects of international law) to the conventional curriculum can trigger expansive debates and cognitive shifts, especially as our own students are often eager to discuss race and colonialism. Moving away from rules-centrism in our teaching can be particularly challenging for our students, but it enables us to place questions of systemic injustice and power at the centre of our pedagogy and to convince even doctrine-orientated students that formalism alone is not sufficient for mastering their subject. Finally, I offer some reflections on why these two moves, fruitful as they may be, do not amount to a ‘decolonised’ approach to teaching. Rather, a decolonised international (legal) order cannot be brought about by pedagogy and will not be a mere variation of the present one.