Share Your Teacher/Teaching Quotes

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Share Your Teacher/Teaching Quotes

Redigerat: nov 7, 2009, 3:58 pm

This morning I just read this from Disobedience by Jane Hamilton:
Living with a high school teacher is probably not that different from living with a coal miner. They are down the shaft, they are cleaning up from being down the shaft, or they are preparing to return to the shaft.

*edited to add touchstones

jan 22, 2009, 11:45 pm

"A teacher says, Take out your pencils. Begin."

Elizabeth Alexander, President Obama's Inauguration

doesn't get much better than that...

mar 17, 2009, 1:58 pm

I got the following sentence in a freshman paper a few years ago, and I'll never forget it:

"Suicide can have serious side effects."

mar 29, 2009, 1:11 pm

“Pursue the things you love doing, and do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you. All other tangible rewards will come as a result.”

Maya Angelou

maj 7, 2009, 8:25 pm

I read this on another post... and it fits for most teachers, I think. - "whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

and on those days I'm wondering "what was I thinking??" - "Things are not as they are, but as we are." Emerson

and one of my favorites.. "Shouting at a bud does not make a flower blossom more."
Myoki Lehrhaupt

just keep teaching :-)

nov 7, 2009, 3:57 pm

"What I know is there is magic in learning."

A Mercy by Toni Morrison

maj 17, 2010, 9:21 pm

These are both from Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya:

Jason had said look at the letter carefully, draw it on the tablet, or on the sand of the playground. You will see, it has magic.


"Be respectful to your teachers," he said to us. "And you, Antonio," he smiled, "suerte." It made me feel good. Like a man.

okt 22, 2010, 9:03 pm

"Samuel's teacher, Mr. Hume, often spoke about the importance of showing initiative, although anytime Samuel showed initiative, Mr. Hume seemed to disapprove of it, which Samuel found very puzzling."

The Gates by John Connolly

nov 26, 2010, 1:41 pm

"By the improvement of education, the feeling of unity with our fellow-creatures shall be...deeply rooted in our character."

John Stuart Mill quoted in A Small Furry Prayer by Steven Kotler

Redigerat: dec 14, 2010, 8:28 pm

Her voice was strong yet sweet, like that of a teacher of early primary grades.

Lily White by Susan Isaacs

dec 22, 2010, 3:08 am

And then all the schoolboys joined in because they also liked processions and felt that the more noise and disturbance there was the less likely they would be to have any school that morning.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis

jan 11, 2011, 6:54 pm

Her ankles were puffed over her thick black shoes and I felt very sorry for my teacher all of a sudden, trying to corral us kids every day.

Sweetie by Kathryn Magendie

feb 4, 2011, 1:16 am

LMAO to #12. I've felt sorry for quite a few of my teachers. I wonder what my future students will think of me...

feb 19, 2011, 9:59 am

#13 What do you plan to teach?

feb 19, 2011, 10:00 am

Stark leaned toward her and spoke very slowly and carefully, as a teacher might speak to a slow first grader.

The Dark Half by Stephen King

feb 24, 2011, 1:29 pm

High School English...

But I'm having a really hard time with my English courses this semester, can't seem to find the time to read it all. I just want to ask one professor if we can pause the syllabus for a day or two, so we all can catch up. But the truth is, most people probably wouldn't even take advantage of it. I'm constantly thinking of ways to avoid this problem in the future. How will I get my students to read the assignments ON TIME?

mar 3, 2011, 7:57 pm

What I needed to do was find an apartment in town, the kind of building where single, plain girls lived, spinsters, secretaries, teachers.

She reminds me of that big, white, ugly schoolteacher. The kind that nobody ever wants to marry.

I feel a hard fist in my chest because what person out there don't remember they first-grade teacher? Maybe they don't remember what they learn, but I'm telling you, I done raised enough kids to know, they matter.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

apr 24, 2011, 7:32 pm

He placed this book in my grandmother's hands, looked at her entreatingly, and said, with an earnestness which I shall never forget, "Te-e-ach, te-e-ach my Ántonia!"

My Ántonia by Willa Cather

Redigerat: jul 9, 2011, 9:38 pm

Is there such a thing as evil, plain as simple? She was the closest to it I have ever known. But, even in her, evil was a complicated thing, made of many layers and wearing many masks. Beneath it all there was a wounded thing, more animal than human. The crime was that such a person was allowed to be a teacher here--to have so many tender young souls in her power.


A truly good teacher can mean the difference between a happy life and a tragic one. A truly good teacher can see the hidden light in eyes that may seem hooded to the rest of the world and even to him or her who possesses them.
But evil teachers--those who derive joy from inflicting harm, who want others to suffer because they themselves have suffered--deserve to be punished, not only in the next world, but in this one as well.

Vivaldi's Virgins by Barbara Quick

jul 30, 2011, 8:57 pm

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. W.B. Yeats. Always one of my favorites.

sep 14, 2011, 12:00 am

She could have grown into a normal person if she hadn't been subjected to the high-school English curriculum. It is one thing to have to read, over the course of a few years of one's life, A Separate Peace, The Catcher in the Rye, Of Mice and Men, The Crucible, The Color Purple, The Scarlet Letter, and To Kill a Mockingbird. It is another thing to have to teach these books, period after period, day after day, year after year. One cannot emerge unscathed.

The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement by David Brooks

sep 22, 2011, 2:39 pm

This could apply to teaching or anything of my favorite quotes of all time AND it is in the front of one of my favorite Thanksgiving books, Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey...

"...and what is done with love is well done." ~Vincent Van Gogh

dec 10, 2011, 10:08 pm

Her classmates thought she was crazy and treated her accordingly. She also aroused very little sympathy among the teachers. She had never been particularly talkative, and she became known as the pupil who never raised her hand and often did not answer when a teacher asked her a direct question. No-one was sure whether this was because she did not know the answer or if there was some other reason, which was reflected in her grades. No doubt that she had problems, but no-one wanted to take responsibility for the difficult girl, even though she was frequently discussed at various teachers' meetings. That was why she ended up in the situation where the teachers ignored her and allowed her to sit in sullen silence.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

apr 28, 2012, 11:47 am

Charlie looked at me and his eyes were very patient, like a teacher who has told you the answer three times already but you have forgotten it.

Little Bee by Chris Cleave

jun 3, 2012, 11:56 pm

"Fraulein Wiedesprunt, she didn't mention the praying, but she told me afterwards that when I raise my hand in the Heil Hitler it isn't vigorous enough."
"Vigorous. It's appalling that we have to do it at all."
"As a teacher you can't get away with not doing it. Students might tell on you. If they don't like you, they might even turn you in for something you didn't do."
"I know of a teacher in Oberkassel who was demoted. Two others in Krefeld were fired."
"The students..." Ingrid nodded. "It gives them too much power. If they misunderstand something or are angry about their grades...It's dangerous for teachers to be strict."
"But if you can't demand work from them, they learn less."
"At least I don't have to teach history. It's too easy to make mistakes there."
"Like telling the truth?"


His first-grade teacher, Sister Mathilde, was quoted as saying, "The murderer spent most of his school years in the corner, his back to the rest of the class."

Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi

jun 8, 2012, 10:53 pm

* Dogmatism: "woof, woof" said the headmaster. His bark was stronger than his bite.

Not sure where I got this from. But I wrote it in my collection. It struck a chord with me.

* * Also this one: "The mind, once expanded to the dimensions of new ideas, never returns to it's orginal size". Oliver Wendell Holmes
I love to use this quote during open house.

* * * "Kids are like horses - in that things go alot easier if you get their respect from the outset rather than trying to demand it after they start seeing
what they can get away with." Half Broke Horse by Jeanette Walls

* * * * And finally: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
― Albert Einstein

jul 19, 2012, 11:26 am

"We have a saying: that whoever learns from a good teacher will turn out even better than the teacher."


Everyone wandered off into the maze of smashed concrete, shooting photos or writing in notebooks, and Naboulsi ended up scuttling around like a despairing third-grade teacher who had lost his field trip.

Day of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love, and War by Annia Ciezadlo

jul 24, 2012, 1:06 pm

As I stood there in the flicker-flash of lightning, feeling my unseen guests swirl around me in the unsteady air, I remembered Mrs. Moran, my first-grade teacher. When your efforts to replicate the smooth curves of the Palmer Method alphabet on the blackboard began to flag and waver, she would put her large competent hand over yours and help you.

Bag of Bones by Stephen King

jan 4, 2013, 12:20 pm

A middle-aged woman, with curly iron-colored hair and the happy tired face of a third-grade teacher in her last year, asked if she could help us and we said she could.

You Shall Know Our Velocity! by Dave Eggers

feb 22, 2013, 11:19 pm

Heard from a substitute today: "Every day starts out a beautiful day... then the kids show up."

Hmmm... pick the right career, buddy?

feb 23, 2013, 11:55 am

Wow! I'm sure they'll be the first person you think of next time you need a sub!

Redigerat: feb 2, 2014, 4:19 pm

"...She started calling me Moalem Soraya, Teacher Soraya." She laughed again. "I know it sounds childish, but the first time Ziba wrote her own letter, I knew there was nothing else I'd ever want to be but a teacher. I was so proud of her and I felt I'd done something really worthwhile, you know?"

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

maj 3, 2013, 1:44 pm

Did I have enough education to teach?

Her response was immediate. "My dear! Why would you want to do that?" In the one-way conversation that followed, she explained that teaching was an acceptable fate only if there was no alternative. She listed her reasons. First there was the issue of finding an amenable situation. Then there was always the fear of losing the position. "It happens all the time, and where does that leave a young woman? To be thrown out on the street? No, no, no! A girl such as yourself wants marriage."

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

aug 1, 2013, 8:11 pm

The question fell on dead air. No one raised a hand or volunteered a response. And then, to my alarm, Mrs. Carter began to scan the aisles. I dropped my head and shaded my brow thinking, Please, don't, don't, don't call on me. She always called on me -- praised my exam scores, my book reports, my mastery of punctuation, my handwriting. She would read aloud my written assignments as models of elegant and concise composition. What she never understood was the outrage her good intentions provoked. Rather than derive edification from my essays, the other students would seethe with the social injury of having a Witcher placed above them.

If Jack's in Love by Stephen Wetta

feb 2, 2014, 4:18 pm

Maureen lives halfway between Toppers' House and Kentish Town, in one of those poky streets full of old ladies and teachers. I don't know for sure they're teachers, but there are an awful lot of bikes around - bikes and recycling bins.

A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby

feb 20, 2014, 8:07 pm

"Sandy" had been the name of the dog in Martin's first-grade reader, Bing and Sandy, and in homage to his first-grade teacher, Mrs. Dubois, he had chosen the name for his ruse.


Pretending to struggle with the laces made him think about Mrs. Carroll, the kindergarten teacher who had once warned him that he would not graduate to first grade until he had learned to tie his shoes and recite his telephone number by heart. He recalled the stress that her demands had placed on his six-year-old psyche and smiled.

Something Missing by Matthew Dicks

Redigerat: nov 15, 2014, 5:36 am

The old teacher had died of a heart attack, right in the middle of a lesson, but as he had a habit of nodding off in class none of the children had paid any attention to the hunched figure. As they always did when he fell asleep, the fourteen children left the room quietly giggling when the afternoon bell rang. Also as usual, they forgot the teacher until they saw him still asleep at his desk in exactly the same position the following morning. Nobody was surprised that the school and the classroom were unlocked; the old teacher had always been absent-minded. But finally the eldest pupil, Nikolaus Koop, plucked up his courage and spoke to the small pale man, whose head had slumped so far onto his chest that only the crown was visible. When he didn't answer, Nikolaus took a step closer and had a good look at his teacher.


"I bet you were a good teacher."
"Yes, I was. But most importantly I remained one for a long time."

The Taste of Apple Seeds by Katharina Hagena

nov 15, 2014, 5:46 am

"...Then I see this white goo. Looked like the kind of paste the teacher gives you in the first grade..."

From a Buick 8 by Stephen King

nov 15, 2014, 5:59 am of the "girls" was a woman who looked to be in her middle sixties, with a stocky body and a no-nonsense haircut that made Clay think of several women teachers he'd known who were nearing retirement.

Cell by Stephen King

jul 18, 2015, 12:59 pm

"If you will forgive me, I must retire to rest after a long day spent fighting that pack of primates I have for pupils," the teacher announced.

The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

jan 18, 2016, 6:40 pm

Elizabeth looks at him over her knitting, sizing him up with narrowed eyes that remind him of his sternest teachers, though he stands much taller than she does.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

jul 11, 2017, 1:46 pm

"Mrs. Lynde says they've never had a female teacher in Avonlea before and she thinks it is a dangerous innovation. But I think it will be splendid to have a lady teacher, and I really don't see how I'm going to live through the two weeks before school begins, I'm so impatient to see her."


In the new teacher she found another true and helpful friend. Miss Stacy was a bright, sympathetic young woman with the happy gift of winning and holding the affections of her pupils and bringing out the best that was in them mentally and morally. Anne expanded liked a flower under this wholesome influence and carried home to the admiring Matthew and the critical Marilla glowing accounts of school work and aims.

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

sep 16, 2017, 11:16 am

Beneath it was one of those plaster casts of a handprint that kindergarten teachers must learn in Education 101.

Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen

Redigerat: dec 27, 2017, 1:13 pm

"Possum, then what would she have had you do?"

"Teach, teach, teach!" Gloria cried. "Till I dropped in harness! Like the rest of 'em!"


"Children of Banner School! It's the first day for both of us. I'm your teacher, Miss Julia Mortimer. Nothing in this world can measure up to the joy you'll bring me if you allow me to teach you something."

Losing Battles by Eudora Welty

dec 2, 2018, 3:15 pm

My favorite teacher from high school senior year had a poster up with this quote. I use it with friends and family to this day.

"Get a Clue, Think it Through"

sep 28, 2019, 2:44 pm

"The dedication had been anticipated nationwide. Francis J. Bellamy, an editor of Youth's Companion, thought it would be a fine thing if on that day all the schoolchildren of America, in unison, offered something to their nation. He composed a pledge that the Bureau of Education mailed to virtually every school. As originally worded, it began, "I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands..."

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson

dec 29, 2021, 6:21 pm

This one made me lol:

I stole (Blackstreet, "No Diggity") from my mom, who got it as a Christmas gift from one of her students. Note: my mom was teaching first grade at the time! Damn! I liked my first grade teacher too, but I never gave her a song about a hooker who got game by the pound.

Talking to Girls About Duran Duran by Rob Sheffield

jan 21, 6:51 pm

The sunlight through the trees seems like something my English teacher back in high school would call sublime.

Book of Extraordinary Tragedies by Joe Meno