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The 34 Most Inspirational Quotes About Teaching

These sayings capture the priceless value of all educators and how their influence can touch lives.

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On the real value of education

 “Education is what survives when what has been learned is forgotten.” -BF Skinner. It’s more than books and papers.

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On the love of teaching

“No one should teach who is not in love with teaching.” -Margaret Elizabeth Sangster. The most moving teaching quotes come from people who have been transformed by their own teachers. Check out these 15 powerful reasons why teachers love their jobs.

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On creativity

“Our task, regarding creativity, is to help children climb their own mountains, as high as possible. No one can do more.” -Loris Malaguzzi. Who better to give teaching quotes than people who shape young minds every day?

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On the art of teaching

 “Good teaching is 1/4 preparation and 3/4 theater.” -Gail Godwin. All teachers secretly double as entertainers, whether they know it or not.

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On a teacher’s role

“What the teacher is, is more important than what he teaches.” -Karl Menninger. These teaching quotes get to the heart of what it means to be an educator.

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On global impact

 “Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.” -Marian Wright Edelman. Teachers can change the world. Can you guess which famous books these quotes are from?

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On educating children

“It is greater work to educate a child, in the true and larger sense of the world, than to rule a state.”
-William Ellery Channing. After all, those children will be the ones in power someday. Here’s a reason why students may work better in coffee shops.

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On teaching and eternity

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” -Henry Brooks Adams. Who run the world? Teachers.

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On the questions a teacher asks

“The test of a good teacher is not how many questions he can ask his pupils that they will answer readily, but how many questions he inspires them to ask him which he finds it hard to answer.” -Alice Wellington Rollins. Yes, teachers love when the students become the teachers.

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On counting vs. what counts

“Teaching kids to count is fine, but teaching them what counts is best.” —Bob Talbert. Teachers shape minds and hearts.

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On different types of teachers

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” -William A. Ward. We should all hope we can meet a truly great teacher. Check out these 27 hope quotes that will lift you up.

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On comparing teaching to other professions

“Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions.” -Unknown. Basically, teachers have the ultimate profession.

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On changing how we teach

“If we teach today’s students, as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.” -John Dewey. Education needs to evolve to be effective.

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On expanding minds

“Education is not to reform students or amuse them or to make them expert technicians. It is to unsettle their minds, widen their horizons, inflame their intellects, teach them to think straight, if possible.” -Robert M. Hutchins. These are the secrets all teachers know about their students.

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On awakening joy

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” -Albert Einstein. Even Einstein recognized the importance of educators.

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On teaching successfully

“The greatest sign of success for a teacher…is to be able to say, ‘The children are now working as if I did not exist.'” -Maria Montessori. Ultimately, that is every teacher’s goal.

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On reaching one’s potential

“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being.” -Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe. Empathy from a teacher can change someone’s life.

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On hands-on teaching

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn.” -Benjamin Franklin. This is every effective teacher’s secret to success.

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On understanding a subject

“Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach.” -Aristotle. Teachers, check out these inspiring books every teacher must read.

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On soul searching

“You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him find it within himself.” -Galileo Galilei. Teachers around the world help students find their true selves every day.

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On the power of one

“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” -Malala Yousafzai. This is why Malala risked her life to spread awareness on the importance of education.

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On unbiased teaching

“The true teacher defends his pupils against his own personal influence.” -Amos Bronson. He puts his students’ interests before his own.

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On building the future

“What we instill in our children will be the foundation upon which they build their future.” -Steve Maraboli. Teachers, the future is in your classrooms.

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On teaching vs. learning

“Teaching is only demonstrating that it is possible. Learning is making it possible for yourself.” -Paulo Coelho. Not all teaching is considered learning.

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On the power of literacy

“Once she knows how to read, there’s only one thing you can teach her to believe in—and that is herself.” -Virginia Woolf. Books are a young mind’s greatest strength.

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On letting kids shine

“Our children are only as brilliant as we allow them to be.” -Eric Micha’el Leventhal. Especially when they make us laugh. Don’t miss these hilariously heartwarming classroom stories from real-life teachers.

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On proper teaching

“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. Just one lesson can be a life-changing experience.

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On a teacher’s job description

 “Teachers, you don’t teach a subject. You teach a child.” -Deepa Bhushan. That should be on every educator’s job description.

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On a teacher’s love

 “Teachers have three loves: love of learning, love of learners, and the love of bringing the first two together.” -Scott Hayden. The best teachers are loving teachers. For a bit of time travel, here’s what technology used to look like in schools.

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On setting high standards

“What all good teachers have in common, however, is that they set high standards for their students and do not settle for anything less.” -Marva Collins. When teachers push their students to expand their minds and go outside their comfort zones, anything is possible.

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On transformation

“We must become what we wish to teach.” -Nathaniel Branden. That quote should be every teacher’s mantra. This is the reason why our best ideas come to us in the shower.

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On teachers’ role in society

“Teachers, I believe, are the most responsible and important members of society because their professional efforts affect the fate of the earth.” -Helen Caldicott. We couldn’t have said it better.

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On discovery

“The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.” -Mark Van Doren. Where would our world be without teachers? Here’s the real reason why people give teachers apples.

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On the value of teachers

“In a completely rational society, the best of us would be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for less.” -Lee Iacocca. We should all remember to give teachers the respect they deserve. Don’t miss these incredible true stories that will remind you why all teachers are amazing.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest