Use these teaching quotes to reset your sense of purpose after a hard day’s – or year’s! – work. And don’t forget to spread a little inspiration around – use one in your e-mail signature and include them in your parent e-mails or newsletters.
Teaching Quotes: Children
It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
~Martin Luther King, Jr.
The most interesting information comes from children, for they tell all they know and then stop.
Teacher Quotes: The Purpose of Education
Education is learning what you didn’t even know you didn’t know.
~Daniel J. Boorstin
Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.
~William Butler Yeats
Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.
~B. F. Skinner
Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.
The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.
~Robert M. Hutchins
The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.
~Sydney J. Harris
What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child.
~George Bernard Shaw
A teacher’s purpose is not to create students in his own image, but to develop students who can create their own image.
Teaching Quotes: Good Teaching
The task of the excellent teacher is to stimulate “apparently ordinary” people to unusual effort. The tough problem is not in identifying winners: it is in making winners out of ordinary people.
~K. Patricia Cross
Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths pure theater.
Good teachers are those who know how little they know. Bad teachers are those who think they know more than they don’t know.
The best teacher is the one who suggests rather than dogmatizes, and inspires his listener with the wish to teach himself.
A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary.
I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.
A cross-eyed teacher can keep twice the number of children in order than any other, because the pupils do not know who she’s looking at.
~Four Hundred Laughs: Or, Fun Without Vulgarity, compiled and edited by John R. Kemble, 1902
A teacher is a compass that activates the magnets of curiosity, knowledge, and wisdom in the pupils.
The best teachers teach from the heart, not from the book.
The average teacher explains complexity; the gifted teacher reveals simplicity.
Who dares to teach must never cease to learn.
~John Cotton Dana
The secret of teaching is to appear to have known all your life what you just learned this morning.
Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement; nothing can be done without hope and confidence.
Susan – Mobile, Alabama: I use this quote in my outgoing e-mails to other teachers. I think it captures the kind of atmosphere that I like to create in my classroom.
Ideal teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross, then having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create bridges of their own.
Stan – Pasco, Washington: My first principal used this quote in the staff newsletter once. I was a new teacher at the time and it perfectly captured the reason why I got into teaching.
Teacher Quotes: An Educated Person
The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change.
Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself.
Teaching Quotes: Teaching Methodology
Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.
If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn’t want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher’s job.
~Donald D. Quinn
I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.
Cyndi – Beckley, West Virginia: Not exactly about teaching I guess but I still like it. I have it up on my bulletin board.
Teacher Quotes: Lifetime Impact
In teaching you cannot see the fruit of a day’s work. It is invisible and remains so, maybe for twenty years.
An educational system isn’t worth a great deal if it teaches young people how to make a living but doesn’t teach them how to make a life.
The difference between school and life? In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.
~Tom Bodett quotes
Teachers who inspire know that teaching is like cultivating a garden, and those who would have nothing to do with thorns must never attempt to gather flowers.
Teachers who inspire realize there will always be rocks in the road ahead of us. They will be stumbling blocks or stepping stones; it all depends on how we use them.
A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.
~Henry Brooks Adams
Have a Great Teaching Quote to Share?
What is your favorite teaching quote…the one that inspires you or your kids every day? Use my contact form to get it placed on this page to share with your fellow teachers.