Teacher Quotes

Teachers inspire, teach and motivate us everyday. As a tribute to educators, we compiled this list of the best teacher quotes and sayings.

These sayings cover a variety of education-related topics, including inspiring and motivating students, encouragement and growth, and teacher quotes to live by. Enjoy!

Best teacher quotes

Are you a teacher? A teacher-to-be? Or just love learning? These quotes provide insight into why teachers love teaching and what makes a great teacher.

1. Inspirational teacher quotes

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.
William Arthur Ward

They inspire you, they entertain you, and you end up learning a ton even when you don’t know it.
Nicholas Sparks

By doing what you love you inspire and awaken the hearts of others.
Satsuki Shibuya

A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination and instill a love of learning.
Brad Henry

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

Teachers are expected to reach unattainable goals with inadequate tools. The miracle is that at times they accomplish this impossible task.
Haim Ginott

Motivational sayings

Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.
Bill Gates

From kindergarten to college, certain teachers engaged my curiosity and motivated me to learn. While I was not the best student, their efforts left a lasting impact.
George Lucas

If someone is going down the wrong road, he doesn’t need motivation to speed him up. What he needs is education to turn him around.
Jim Rohn

There is only one way to get anybody to do anything. And that is by making the other person want to do it.
Dale Carnegie

teacher quotes and sayings


Nine-tenths of education is encouragement.
Anatole France

A teacher encourages your mind to think, your hands to create, and your heart to love.

Teaching is more than imparting knowledge; it is inspiring change. Learning is more than absorbing facts; it is acquiring understanding.
William Arthur Ward

If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.
Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Estrada

Uplifting quotes

A good education can change anyone, a good teacher can change everything.
Shravani Joshi

Teaching is the greatest act of optimism.
Colleen Wilcox

2. Teacher quotes about students

Take the attitude of a student, never be too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new.
Og Mandino

Becoming a teacher is becoming a student for a lifetime.
Amol Gade

Our job is to teach the student we have. Not the ones we would like to have. Not the ones we used to have. Those we have right now. All of them.
Dr. Kevin Maxwell

Every student can learn, just not on the same day, or in the same way.
George Evans

If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.
John Dewey

Don’t try to fix the students, fix ourselves first. The good teacher makes the poor student good and the good student superior. When our students fail, we as teacher, too, have failed.
Marva Collins

The job of an educator is to teach students to see vitality in themselves.
Joseph Campbell

About learning

The best teacher is the one who shows you where to look but doesn’t tell you what to look for.

A good teacher knows how to bring out the best in their students.
Charles Kuralt

A teacher can open the door and show you the way but you must take action to make your dreams a reality.
Asad Meah

The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called “truth.”
Dan Rather

About education

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.
William Butler Yates

The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.
Sydney J. Harris

Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.
Gilbert K. Chesterton

The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.
Kahlil Gibran

Education, therefore, is a process of living and not a preparation for future living.
John Dewey

What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to a human soul.
Joseph Addison

Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.
John Dewey

About knowledge

If you have knowledge, let others light their candles at it.
Margaret Fuller

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 Herbet

You can teach a person all you know, but only experience will convince him that what you say is true.
Richelle E. Goodrich

If you would thoroughly know anything, teach it to others.
Tyron Edwards

The self taught man seldom knows anything accurately, and he does not know a tenth as much as he could have known if he had worked under teachers.
Mark Twain

I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.
Lily Tomlin

The best teachers quote by Alexandra Trenfor

3. Teacher quotes to live by

A teacher is a compass that activates the magnets of curiosity, knowledge, and wisdom.
Ever Garrison

Always walk through life as if you have something new to learn and you will.
Vernon Howard

A teacher is a person who never says anything once.
Howard Nemerov

The influence of a good teacher can never be erased.

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

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.
Charles William Eliot

The duties of a teacher are neither few nor small, but they elevate the mind and give energy to the character.
Dorothea Dix

Everyone, in some respect, is a teacher; some just work harder to do it better.
Terry Heick

About kindness

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

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

About love

A teacher who loves teaching teaches children to love learning.

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

And if those children are unresponsive, maybe you can’t teach them yet, but you can love them. And if you love them today, maybe you can teach them tomorrow.
Jeffery R. Holland

Emotional sayings

A child’s first teacher is its mother.
Peng Liyuan

What passion would be to teaching, salt is to food.
Kavita Bhupta Ghosh

The best teacher teaches from the heart, not from the book.

Everyone who remembers his own education remembers teachers, not methods and techniques. The teacher is the heart of the educational system.
Sidney Hook

It takes a big heart to help shape little minds.

Heart touching quotes

A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind and touches a heart.

To the world you may be just a teacher but to your students you are a hero.

Education is unfolding the wings of head and heart together. The job of a teacher is to push the students out of the nest to strengthen their wings.
Amit Ray

Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

4. Teacher appreciation quotes

Teachers affect eternity; no one can tell where their influence stops.
Henry Brooks Adams

One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.
Malala Yousafzai

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

Great teachers focus on expectations. Other teachers focus on rules. The least effective teachers focus on the consequences of breaking the rules.
Todd Whitaker

Making a difference

It’s the teacher that makes the difference, not the classroom.
Michael Morpurg

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

The true aim of everyone who aspires to be a teacher should be not to impart his own opinions but to kindle minds.
Frederick William Robertson

Teaching is not entertainment, but it is unlikely to be successful unless it is entertaining.
Herbert A. Simon

Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.
Margaret Mead


If you have to put someone on a pedestal, put teachers. They are society’s heroes.
Guy Kawasaki

Teachers can change lives with just the right mix of chalk and challenges.
Joyce Meyer

A good teacher quote by Brad Henry

5. What is a teacher quotes

A good teacher is like a candle — it consumes itself to light the way for others.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

A teacher is someone who believes in you and sees the greatness within you.
Asad Meah

A teacher is a real hero that doesn’t wear a cape.

A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary.
Thomas Carruthers

I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. It might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.
John Steinbeck

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

There is no recipe to be a great teacher, that’s what is unique about them.
Robert Sternberg

Definition of a teacher sayings

What the teacher is, is more important than what he teaches.
Karl Menninger

The best teachers are those who show you where to look but don’t tell you what to see.
Alexandra K. Trenfor

The Master said, “A true teacher is one who, keeping the past alive, is also able to understand the present.”

Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions.

The best teachers are the ones that change their minds.
Terry Heick

A teacher affects eternity, he can never tell where his influence stops.
Henry B. Adams

A good teacher offers practice, a bad one offers theories.
Anthony De Mello


In teaching you cannot see the fruit of a day’s work. It is invisible and remains so, maybe for twenty years.
Jacques Barzun

Be the teacher you needed when you were younger.

Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them become what they are capable of becoming.

Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths pure theatre.
Gail Godwin

6. Funny teacher quotes

You cannot teach a crab to walk straight.

The only reason I always try to meet and know the parents better is because it helps me to forgive their children.
Louise Johannot

Children today are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers.

Teachers are the only professionals who have to respond to bells every forty-five minutes and come out fighting.
Frank McCourt

Cute sayings

Good teaching is 1/4 preparation and 3/4 theatre.
Gail Goldwin

We teachers are rather good at magic, you know.
J.K. Rowling

Teaching kids to count is fine, but teaching them what counts is best.
Bob Talbert

The older I got, the smarter my teachers became.
Ally Carter

A teacher’s job is to take a bunch of live wires and see that they are well-grounded.
Getty Jeannette Walls

7. Short teacher quotes

When one teaches, two learn.
Robert Heinlein

Teach the way you’d want to be taught.

Teachers teach someone something, in that order.
Samuel Natale

The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.
Mark Van Doren

Learning is not compulsory but neither is survival.
W. Edwards Deming

To know how to suggest is the art of teaching.
Henri-Frédéric Amiel

You can’t learn less.
Buckminster Fuller

I cannot be a teacher without exposing who I am.
Paulo Freire

He who opens a school door, closes a prison.
Victor Hugo

Tell if you know, ask if you don’t.
Duane Alan Hahn

Who dares to teach must never cease to learn.
John Cotton Dana

Be curious, not judgmental.
Walt Whitman

To teach is to learn twice.
Joseph Joubert

Wisdom is the lesson learned, applied.
Rick Beneteau

Teacher quote by C. Everett Koop

8. Deep teacher quotes

A teacher affects eternity: he can never tell where his influence stops.
Henry Adams

Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.

If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people.
Chinese proverb

Teaching is only demonstrating that it is possible. Learning is making it possible for yourself.
Paulo Coelho

Teacher proverbs

Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher.
Japanese proverb

Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in another time.
Chinese proverb

Listening is the most difficult skill to learn and the most important to have.
African proverb

Study without reflection is a waste of time; reflection without study is dangerous.
Chinese proverb

9. Famous teacher quotes

A well-educated mind will always have more questions than answers.
Helen Keller

Teaching is the one profession that creates all other professions.

It is only the ignorant who despise education.
Publilius Syrus

The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

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

Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.
Malcolm X

From artists

Poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master.
Leonardo da Vinci

The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.
B.B. King

The more that you read, the more things you will know, the more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.
Dr. Seuss

From authors

I am not a teacher, but an awakener.
Robert Frost

Children’s talent to endure stems from their ignorance of alternatives.
Maya Angelou

A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.
George R.R. Martin

Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or self-confidence.
Robert Frost

Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.
John Steinbeck

You can’t stop a teacher when they want to do something. They just do it.
J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

From philosophers

Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach.

Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.

True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.

The very spring and root of honesty and virtue lie in good education.

I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.

Teaching is the highest form of understanding.

Your worst enemy is your best teacher.

Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well.

From politicians

Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is our fundamental resource.
John F. Kennedy

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.
Frederick Douglass

The school is the last expenditure upon which America should be willing to economize.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.
John F. Kennedy

I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well.
Alexander the Great

From scientists

I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.
Albert Einstein

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.
Benjamin Franklin

I would teach how science works as much as I would teach what science knows.
Neil deGrasse Tyson

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn’t learn something from him.
Galileo Galilei

Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation.
C. Everett Koop

10. How to use teacher quotes and sayings

Here’s a list of ideas to put these teacher quotes to use and honor your favorite teacher:

  • For parents – Inspire and motivate students to love learning.
  • For gifts – Include a quote or saying to gift cards to a teacher.
  • Email signature – Add a useful quote or saying as a sign-off to your emails.
  • T-shirts – Use a teacher quote to create your own t-shirt design.
  • Teachers’ Day – Message a teacher with an inspirational quote to celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Day in May each year.
  • For graduation – Include wise teacher sayings in a commencement speech.
  • School yearbook – Use a quote to capture the spirit of a teacher who made a difference in your education.
  • End of year celebrations – Share a message of hope and gratitude on the last day of school.
  • Teacher appreciation – Say thank you to your favorite teacher.
  • For retirement – Recognize a teacher’s career and the difference they’ve made in your life.

We hope you are inspired by these teacher quotes and sayings. Here are more education-related lists you’ll enjoy reading:

Teacher Jokes for Kids

Funny Inspirational Quotes

Reading Quotes

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