Teacher Quotes

Here we have gathered the top teacher quotes for you to read. If you’re looking to energize your day with quotes from some of the most inpsiring educators and teachers, this list was built just for you! The quotes on this list are all about the characteristics of teaching and how it can be done in the most inspiring way possible. The quotes on this list come from famour teachers and thinkers of our time, and you’re very likely to find many new lessons by reading these quotes. The list has been organized with the most popular teacher quotes on the top, as all the quotes on this list are ranked by community votes. Please feel free to vote your own favourite teacher quote in order to help it move up the list!

  1. 1
    T.H. White

    “The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.” ― T.H. White, The Once and Future King

  2. 2
    Jim Henson

    “[Kids] don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.” ― Jim Henson, It’s Not Easy Being Green: And Other Things to Consider

  3. 3
    Hermann Hesse

    “Wisdom cannot be imparted. Wisdom that a wise man attempts to impart always sounds like foolishness to someone else … Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.” ― Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

  4. 4
    P.C. Cast

    “Don’t fuck with an English major. They keep lots of useless crap trapped in their heads. Once in a while they let some of it out and it bites you square on the ass.” ― P.C. Cast, Divine By Mistake

  5. 5
    Romain Rolland

    “If a man is to shed the light of the sun upon other men, he must first of all have it within himself.” ― Romain Rolland

  6. 6
    Haruki Murakami

    “Adults constantly raise the bar on smart children, precisely because they’re able to handle it. The children get overwhelmed by the tasks in front of them and gradually lose the sort of openness and sense of accomplishment they innately have. When they’re treated like that, children start to crawl inside a shell and keep everything inside. It takes a lot of time and effort to get them to open up again. Kids’ hearts are malleable, but once they gel it’s hard to get them back the way they were.” ― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

  7. 7
    Jiddu Krishnamurti

    “Real learning comes about when the competitive spirit has ceased.” ― Jiddu Krishnamurti

  8. 8
    Khalil Gibran

    “No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge.
    The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness.
    If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.” ― Khalil Gibran, The Prophet

  9. 9
    Neil deGrasse Tyson

    “People cited violation of the First Amendment when a New Jersey schoolteacher asserted that evolution and the Big Bang are not scientific and that Noah’s ark carried dinosaurs. This case is not about the need to separate church and state; it’s about the need to separate ignorant, scientifically illiterate people from the ranks of teachers.” ― Neil deGrasse Tyson

  10. 10
    Brian Tracy

    “Positive expectations are the mark of the superior personality.” ― Brian Tracy, Maximum Achievement: Strategies and Skills that Will Unlock Your Hidden Powers to Succeed

  11. 11
    Haim Ginott

    “I’ve come to a frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized.” ― Haim Ginott

  12. 12
    Albert Einstein

    “I never teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.” ― Albert Einstein

  13. 13
    Bertrand Russell

    “When you want to teach children to think, you begin by treating them seriously when they are little, giving them responsibilities, talking to them candidly, providing privacy and solitude for them, and making them readers and thinkers of significant thoughts from the beginning. That’s if you want to teach them to think.” ― Bertrand Russell

  14. 14

    “Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body; but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.” ― Plato, The Republic

  15. 15
    Jacques Barzun

    “Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition.” ― Jacques Barzun

  16. 16
    Martin Luther

    “I am afraid that the schools will prove the very gates of hell, unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures and engraving them in the heart of the youth.” ― Martin Luther

  17. 17
    Aldous Huxley

    “Experience teaches only the teachable.” ― Aldous Huxley

  18. 18
    John Wooden

    “Seek opportunities to show you care. The smallest gestures often make the biggest difference.” ― John Wooden

  19. 19
    Richard Bach

    “Learning is finding out what you already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it. Teaching is reminding others that they know just as well as you. You are all learners, doers, teachers.” ― Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

  20. 20
    Joseph Campbell

    “The job of an educator is to teach students to see vitality in themselves” ― Joseph Campbell

  21. 21
    Randy Pausch

    “There’s a lot of talk these days about giving children self-esteem. It’s not something you can give; it’s something they have to build. Coach Graham worked in a no-coddling zone. Self-esteem? He knew there was really only one way to teach kids how to develop it: You give them something they can’t do, they work hard until they find they can do it, and you just keep repeating the process.” ― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

  22. 22
    Elbert Hubbard

    “The object of teaching a child is to enable him to get along without a teacher.” ― Elbert Hubbard

  23. 23
    Dalai Lama

    “Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.” ― Dalai Lama XIV

  24. 24
    Ruth Beechick

    “A teacher who loves learning earns the right and the ability to help others learn.” ― Ruth Beechick, An Easy Start in Arithmetic, Grades K-3

  25. 25
    Eberhard Arnold

    “Only those who look with the eyes of children can lose themselves in the object of their wonder. ” ― Eberhard Arnold

  26. 26
    Chuang Tzu

    “Rewards and punishment is the lowest form of education.” ― Chuang Tzu

  27. 27
    Audre Lorde

    “The learning process is something you can incite, literally incite, like a riot.” ― Audre Lorde

  28. 28
    Richard Buckminster Fuller

    “If you want to teach people a new way of thinking, don’t bother trying to teach them. Instead, give them a tool, the use of which will lead to new ways of thinking.” ― Richard Buckminster Fuller

  29. 29
    George Bernard Shaw

    “I’m not a teacher: only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead – ahead of myself as well as you.” ― George Bernard Shaw

  30. 30
    John Dewey

    “Give the pupils something to do, not something to learn; and the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking; learning naturally results.” ― John Dewey

  31. 31
    Oscar Wilde

    “Everybody who is incapable of learning has taken to teaching.”― Oscar Wilde

  32. 32
    Frank Herbert

    “Proper teaching is recognized with ease. You can know it without fail because it awakens within you that sensation which tells you this is something you have always known.” ― Frank Herbert, Dune

  33. 33
    Seymour Simon

    “I’m more interested in arousing enthusiasm in kids than in teaching the facts. The facts may change, but that enthusiasm for exploring the world will remain with them the rest of their lives.” ― Seymour Simon

  34. 34
    Ivan Illich

    “Most learning is not the result of instruction. It is rather the result of unhampered participation in a meaningful setting. Most people learn best by being “with it,” yet school makes them identify their personal, cognitive growth with elaborate planning and manipulation.” ― Ivan Illich, Deschooling Society

  35. 35
    Deng Ming-Dao

    “All teachings are mere references. The true experience is living your own life. Then, even the holiest of words are only words.” ― Deng Ming-Dao

  36. 36
    Criss Jami

    “The barrier during self-improvement is not so much that we hate learning, rather we hate being taught. To learn entails that the knowledge was achieved on one’s own accord – it feels great – but to be taught often leaves a feeling of inferiority. Thus it takes a bit of determination and a lot of humility in order for one to fully develop.” ― Criss Jami, Killosophy

  37. 37

    “When you wish to instruct, be brief; that men’s [children’s] minds take in quickly what you say, learn its lesson, and retain it faithfully. Every word that is unnecessary only pours over the side of a brimming mind.” ― Cicero

  38. 38
    Immanuel Kant

    “Genius is the ability to independently arrive at and understand concepts that would normally have to be taught by another person.” ― Immanuel Kant

  39. 39
    Fulton J. Sheen

    “A teacher who cannot explain any abstract subject to a child does not himself thoroughly understand his subject; if he does not attempt to break down his knowledge to fit the child’s mind, he does not understand teaching.” ― Fulton J. Sheen, Life Is Worth Living

  40. 40
    Muriel Spark

    “The word “education” comes from the root e from ex, out, and duco, I lead. It means a leading out. To me education is a leading out of what is already there in the pupil’s soul.” ― Muriel Spark, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

  41. 41
    Erin Gruwell

    “Evil prevails when good people do nothing.” ― Erin Gruwell, The Freedom Writers Diary

  42. 42

    “That’s what education should be,” I said, “the art of orientation. Educators should devise the simplest and most effective methods of turning minds around. It shouldn’t be the art of implanting sight in the organ, but should proceed on the understanding that the organ already has the capacity, but is improperly aligned and isn’t facing the right way.” ― Plato, The Republic

  43. 43
    Dave Cullen

    “You can’t really teach a kid anything: you can only show him the way and motivate him to learn it himself.” ― Dave Cullen, Columbine

  44. 44
    Amos Bronson Alcott

    “The true teacher defends his pupils against his own personal influence.” ― Amos Bronson Alcott

  45. 45
    Pat Conroy

    “Teach them the quiet words of kindness, to live beyond themselves. Urge them toward excellence, drive them toward gentleness, pull them deep into yourself, pull them upward toward manhood, but softly like an angel arranging clouds. Let your spirit move through them softly.” ― Pat Conroy, The Prince of Tides

  46. 46
    Steve Martin

    “You want to know how I think art should be taught to children? Take them to a museum and say, ‘This is art, and you can’t do it.” ― Steve Martin, An Object of Beauty

  47. 47
    Amit Ray

    “Formal education teaches how to stand, but to see the rainbow you must come out and walk many steps on your own.” ― Amit Ray, Nonviolence: The Transforming Power

  48. 48
    Lemony Snicket

    “The expression ‘Those who can’t do, teach’ is a curious one, because if you look at the world , you’ll see that teachers aren’t particularly worse at doing things than anyone else, so perhaps the expression might be better worded as ‘nobody can do anything” ― Lemony Snicket, Horseradish

  49. 49
    Lee Iacocca

    “In a completely rational society, the best of us would be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something else.” ― Lee Iacocca

  50. 50
    Irvin D. Yalom

    “You will search the world over and not find a nonsuperstitious community. As long as there is ignorance, there will be adherence to superstition. Dispelling ignorance is the only solution. That is why I teach.” ― Irvin D. Yalom, The Spinoza Problem

  51. 51
    William Glasser

    “When you study great teachers… you will learn much more from their caring and hard work than from their style.” ― William Glasser

  52. 52
    Jane Smiley

    “A child who is protected from all controversial ideas is as vulnerable as a child who is protected from every germ. The infection, when it comes- and it will come- may overwhelm the system, be it the immune system or the belief system.” ― Jane Smiley

  53. 53
    Walt Whitman

    “My words itch at your ears till you understand them” ― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

  54. 54
    Shannon L. Alder

    “The Anatomy of Conflict:

    If there is no communication then there is no respect. If there is no respect then there is no caring. If there is no caring then there is no understanding. If there is no understanding then there is no compassion. If there is no compassion then there is no empathy. If there is no empathy then there is no forgiveness. If there is no forgiveness then there is no kindness. If there is no kindness then there is no honesty. If there is no honesty then there is no love. If there is no love then God doesn’t reside there. If God doesn’t reside there then there is no peace. If there is no peace then there is no happiness. If there is no happiness —-then there IS CONFLICT BECAUSE THERE IS NO COMMUNICATION!” ― Shannon L. Alder

  55. 55
    Henri Frederic Amiel

    “To know how to suggest is the art of teaching.” ― Henri Frederic Amiel

  56. 56
    Winston S. Churchill

    “I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught.” ― Winston S. Churchill

  57. 57
    Paulo Coelho

    “Teaching is only demonstrating that it is possible. Learning is making it possible for yourself.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Pilgrimage

  58. 58
    Stephen Fry

    “The biggest challenge facing the great teachers and communicators of history is not to teach history itself, nor even the lessons of history, but why history matters. How to ignite the first spark of the will o’the wisp, the Jack o’lantern, the ignis fatuus [foolish fire] beloved of poets, which lights up one source of history and then another, zigzagging across the marsh, connecting and linking and writing bright words across the dark face of the present. There’s no phrase I can come up that will encapsulate in a winning sound-bite why history matters. We know that history matters, we know that it is thrilling, absorbing, fascinating, delightful and infuriating, that it is life. Yet I can’t help wondering if it’s a bit like being a Wagnerite; you just have to get used to the fact that some people are never going to listen.” ― Stephen Fry, Making History

  59. 59
    Virginia Woolf

    “Once she knows how to read there’s only one thing you can teach her to believe in and that is herself.” ― Virginia Woolf, Monday or Tuesday

  60. 60
    John Lubbock

    “Our great mistake in education is, as it seems to me, the worship of book-learning–the confusion of instruction and education. We strain the memory instead of cultivating the mind. The children in our elementary schools are wearied by the mechanical act of writing, and the interminable intricacies of spelling; they are oppressed by columns of dates, by lists of kings and places, which convey no definite idea to their minds, and have no near relation to their daily wants and occupations; while in our public schools the same unfortunate results are produced by the weary monotony of Latin and Greek grammar. We ought to follow exactly the opposite course with children–to give them a wholesome variety of mental food, and endeavor to cultivate their tastes, rather than to fill their minds with dry facts. The important thing is not so much that every child should be taught, as that every child should be given the wish to learn. What does it matter if the pupil know a little more or a little less? A boy who leaves school knowing much, but hating his lessons, will soon have forgotten almost all he ever learned; while another who had acquired a thirst for knowledge, even if he had learned little, would soon teach himself more than the first ever knew.” ― John Lubbock, The Pleasures of Life

  61. 61
    Richelle E. Goodrich

    “Without you there would be no me. 
    I am everything reflected in your eyes. 
    I am everything approved by your smile. 
    I am everything born of your guidance. 
    I am me only because of you.” ― Richelle E. Goodrich, Making Wishes

  62. 62
    Michelle L. Casto

    “The only person who is spiritually smart is the one who has learned how to learn, unlearn, and change directions instantly, and start all over again, if your soul calls for it.” ― Michelle L. Casto

  63. 63
    Stephen R. Lawhead

    “If thou wouldst seek justice, thyself must be just. ” ― Stephen R. Lawhead, Hood

  64. 64
    Ben Sweetland

    “We cannot hold a torch to light another’s path without brightening our own.” ― Ben Sweetland

  65. 65
    Phillip Done

    “The main reason I became a teacher is that I like being the first one to introduce kids to words and music and people and numbers and concepts and idea that they have never heard about or thought about before. I like being the first one to tell them about Long John Silver and negative numbers and Beethoven and alliteration and “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” and similes and right angles and Ebenezer Scrooge. . . Just think about what you know today. You read. You write. You work with numbers. You solve problems. We take all these things for granted. But of course you haven’t always read. You haven’t always known how to write. You weren’t born knowing how to subtract 199 from 600. Someone showed you. There was a moment when you moved from not knowing to knowing, from not understanding to understanding. That’s why I became a teacher.” ― Phillip Done, 32 Third Graders and One Class Bunny: Life Lessons from Teaching

  66. 66
    Sunny Decker

    “part of the art of teaching is the ability to rearrange the world for students – to force them to see things in a new way. i’ve known too many stupid intellectuals to believe that education and wisdom come as a package deal along with facts, it’s your perspective that counts – your ability to see differently, not just to see a lot.” ― Sunny Decker, An Empty Spoon

  67. 67
    Holly Black

    “So you’ll teach me?” Val asked.
    Ravus nodded agin. “I will make you as terrible as you desire.”
    “I don’t want to be – ,” she started, but he held up his hand.
    “I know you’re very brave,” he said.
    “Or stupid.”
    And stupid. Brave and Stupid.” Ravus smiled, but then his smile sagged. “But nothing can stop you from being terrible once you’ve learned how.”― Holly Black, Valiant: A Modern Tale Of Faerie

  68. 68
    Criss Jami

    “With too much pride a man cannot learn a thing. In and of itself, learning teaches you how foolish you are.” ― Criss Jami, Killosophy

  69. 69
    Eric Micha’el Leventhal

    “Our children are only as brilliant as we allow them to be.” ― Eric Micha’el Leventhal

  70. 70
    Steve Maraboli

    “What we instill in our children will be the foundation upon which they build their future.” ― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

  71. 71

    “Those who don’t know must learn from those who do.” ― Plato, The Republic

  72. 72
    Shannon L. Alder

    “It is not until you change your identity to match your life blueprint that you will understand why everything in the past never worked.” ― Shannon L. Alder

  73. 73
    Criss Jami

    “An exceedingly confident student would in theory make a terrible student. Why would he take school seriously when he feels that he can outwit his teachers?” ― Criss Jami, Killosophy

  74. 74
    J.K. Rowling

    “This is precisely why I loathed being a teacher! Young people are so infernally convinced that they are absolutely right about everything. Has it not occurred to you, my poor puffed-up poppinjay, that there might be an excellent reason why the Headmaster of Hogwarts is not confiding every tiny detail of his plans to you? Have you never paused, while feeling hard-done-by, to note that following Dumbledore’s orders has never yet led you into harm? No. No, like all young people, you are quite sure that you alone feel and think, you alone recognise danger, you alone are the only one clever enough to realise what the Dark Lord may be planning.” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

  75. 75
    Julian of Norwich

    “But for I am a woman should I therefore live that I should not tell you the goodness of God?” ― Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love

  76. 76
    Anne Bishop

    “Not fault of teaching spider if little spider pay more attention to catching fly than doing lesson.” ― Anne Bishop, Queen of the Darkness

  77. 77
    Nick Harkaway

    “People don’t want children to know what they need to know. They want their kids to know what they ought to need to know. If you’re a teacher you’re in a constant battle with mildly deluded adults who think the world will get better if you imagine it isbetter. You want to teach about sex? Fine, but only when they’re old enough to do it. You want to talk politics? Sure, but nothing modern. Religion? So long as you don’t actually think about it. Otherwise some furious mob will come to your house and burn you for a witch.” ― Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World

  78. 78
    Umberto Eco

    “But the purpose of a story is to teach and to please at once, and what it teaches is how to recognize the snares of the world.” ― Umberto Eco, The Island of the Day Before

  79. 79
    Esme Raji Codell

    “The difference between a beginning teacher and an experienced one is that the beginning teacher asks, “How am I doing?” and the experienced teacher asks, How are the children doing?” ― Esme Raji Codell

  80. 80
    Nathaniel Branden

    “We must become what we wish to teach.” ― Nathaniel Branden, Six Pillars of Self-Esteem

  81. 81
    Peter Drucker

    “No one learns as much about a subject as one who is forced to teach it.” ― Peter Drucker

  82. 82
    Neil deGrasse Tyson

    “I would teach how science works as much as I would teach what science knows. I would assert (given that essentially, everyone will learn to read) that science literacy is the most important kind of literacy they can take into the 21st century. I would undervalue grades based on knowing things and find ways to reward curiosity. In the end, it’s the people who are curious who change the world.” ― Neil deGrasse Tyson

  83. 83
    Nelson Mandela

    “Without language, one cannot talk to people and understand them; one cannot share their hopes and aspirations, grasp their history, appreciate their poetry, or savor their songs.” ― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

  84. 84
    Anatole France

    “The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of the mind for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards.” ― Anatole France

  85. 85
    Scott Hayden

    “Teachers have three loves: love of learning, love of learners, and the love of bringing the first two loves together.” ― Scott Hayden

  86. 86
    Alan Bennett

    “One of the hardest things for boys to learn is that a teacher is human. One of the hardest things for a teacher to learn is not to try and tell them.” ― Alan Bennett , The History Boys

  87. 87
    Robyn Silverman

    “We must teach our girls that if they speak their mind, they can create the world they want to see. (145)” ― Robyn Silverman, Good Girls Don’t Get Fat: How Weight Obsession Is Messing Up Our Girls and How We Can Help Them Thrive Despite It

  88. 88
    Criss Jami

    “The man who is most aggressive in teaching tolerance is the most intolerant of all: he wants a world full of people too timid and ashamed to really disagree with anything.” ― Criss Jami, Killosophy

  89. 89
    Balthasar Gracian

    “For the advice in a joke is sometimes more useful than the most serious teaching.” ― Balthasar Gracian, The Art of Worldly Wisdom

  90. 90
    Ann Voskamp

    “… be radical about grace and relentless about truth and resolute about holiness…” ― Ann Voskamp

  91. 91
    George Steiner

    “the calling of the teacher. There is no craft more privileged. To awaken in another human being powers, dreams beyond one’s own; to induce in others a love for that which one loves; to make of one’s inward present their future; that is a threefold adventure like no other.” ― George Steiner, Lessons of the Masters

  92. 92
    Shannon L. Alder

    “The best kind of happiness is a habit you’re passionate about.” ― Shannon L. Alder

  93. 93
    Anna Quindlen

    “London has the trick of making its past, its long indelible past, always a part of its present. And for that reason it will always have meaning for the future, because of all it can teach about disaster, survival, and redemption. It is all there in the streets. It is all there in the books.” ― Anna Quindlen, Imagined London: A Tour of the World’s Greatest Fictional City

  94. 94
    Robert A. Heinlein

    “His older self had taught his younger self a language which the older self knew because the younger self, after being taught, grew up to be the older self and was, therefore, capable of teaching.” ― Robert A. Heinlein

  95. 95
    Umberto Eco

    “If you want to use television to teach somebody, you must first teach
    them how to use television.” ― Umberto Eco

  96. 96
    Criss Jami

    “In God’s eyes, a man who teaches one truth and nothing else is more righteous than a man who teaches a million truths and one lie.” ― Criss Jami, Killosophy

  97. 97
    Paul Halmos

    “The best way to learn is to do; the worst way to teach is to talk.” ― Paul Halmos

  98. 98
    Anne Lamott

    “When we did art with the kids, the demons would lie down.” ― Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith

  99. 99
    Richard DuFour

    “the fundamental purpose of school is learning, not teaching.” ― Richard DuFour

  100. 100
    Amy Carmichael

    “If our children were to grow up truthful they much be taught by those who had a regard for truth; and not just a casual regard, a delicate regard. On this point we were adamant.” ― Amy Carmichael, Gold Cord


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