quotations about teaching

Teaching quote

A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn, is hammering on cold iron.



There is no better way to learn than to teach.

BENJAMIN WHICHCOTE, Moral and Religious Aphorisms


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If you have forgotten how to be a child you cannot teach children.

AUSTIN O'MALLEY, Keystones of Thought


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For the life of me I cannot fathom why we expect so much from teachers and provide them so little in return. In 1940, the average pay of a male teacher was actually 3.6 percent more than what other college-educated men earned. Today it is 60 percent lower. Women teachers now earn 16 percent less than other college-educated women. This bewilders me.... There was no Plato without Socrates, and no John Coltrane without Miles Davis.

BILL MOYERS, speech at the fiftieth anniversary of the Council of Great City Schools, "America 101", October 27, 2006


Year after year students tumble along like the waters of a river. They flow away, and only the teacher is left behind, like some deeply buried rock at the bottom of the current.

KOBO ABE, The Woman in the Dunes


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The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don't tell you what to see.

ALEXANDRA K. TREFOR, attributed, Making Classrooms Better


Teaching is arousing and using the pupil's mind to form in it a desired conception of thought.

JOHN MILTON GREGORY, The Seven Laws of Teaching


Teaching is one of the noblest of professions. It requires an adequate preparation and training, patience, devotion, and a deep sense of responsibility. Those who mold the human mind have wrought not for time, but for eternity.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, speech, July 4, 1924


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The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards.

ANATOLE FRANCE, The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard


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One repays a teacher badly if one remains always only a student.

FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE, Thus Spoke Zarathustra


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Teaching is an art, not a science, principally because it involves human beings, their emotions and their values.

GILBERT HIGHET, The Art of Teaching


When they make a movie about my life and teaching career, Reese Witherspoon and I are going to sit down and have a talk before filming begins. "Look, Reese," I'll say. "You gotta lose some of that eye shadow. Better yet, move it down an inch or two and give yourself some dark circles under your eyes. Also, quit being so damn perky." She'll look offended for a minute, but I'll explain, "You've been up most of the night redoing your lesson plans because they changed the format again, and now they want literally 20 pages of lesson plans a week. Also, you're supposed to plan a field trip, but there's no money so you have to write a grant for it and also ask your mom to pay for half. And by the way, you got a call in the middle of the night from one of your students. He's OK; he just had a question about the homework. At one in the morning.

CAPTAIN AWESOME, "6 Ways in Which Teaching Is Nothing Like the Movies", We Are Teachers, December 4, 2015


It is better to teach a few things perfectly than many things indifferently.

ANDRÉ MAUROIS, An Art of Living


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Some of the world's best educators are grandparents.

DR. CHARLIE W. SHEDD, attributed, Just Grandparents


The key to fixing education is better teaching, and the key to better teaching is figuring out who can teach and who can't.

JONATHAN ALTER, Newsweek, June 15, 2009


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We never completely escape the teachers of our childhood nor any of the patterns that formed us.

FRANK HERBERT, Heretics of Dune


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The world of knowledge takes a crazy turn
When teachers themselves are taught to learn.

BERTOLT BRECHT, Life of Galileo


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To make oneself interesting artificially, that is, interesting to those who have no interest in us, is indeed a very difficult task; and to arrest the attention hour after hour, and year after year, not of one, but of a multitude of persons who have nothing in common with us, not even years, is indeed a superhuman undertaking. Yet this is the task of the teacher, or, as he would say, his "art": to make this assembly of children whom he has reduced to immobility by discipline follow him with their minds, understand what he says, and learn; an internal action, which he cannot govern, as he governs the position of their bodies, but which he must win by making himself interesting, and by maintaining this interest.

MARIA MONTESSORI, Spontaneous Activity in Education


It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.

ALBERT EINSTEIN, Motto for the astronomy building of Junior College, Pasadena, California


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Only crazy people teach in heels. You're on your feet all day. Sometimes you have to chase a kid. It's true that heels sound really impressive on the linoleum when you're walking down the hall, but how are you ever going to sneak up on anybody?

CAPTAIN AWESOME, "6 Ways in Which Teaching Is Nothing Like the Movies", We Are Teachers, December 4, 2015