Most Inspirational Teacher Quotes
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200 Most Inspirational Teacher Quotes

A teacher is a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence, or virtue and who is a very noble profession that shapes the character, calibre, and future of an individual.

We’ve compiled 200 inspirational quotes for teachers. These teacher quotes encompass a vast range of opinions, experiences, and perspectives. What inspirational teacher quotes strengthen and inspire you? Enjoy, and share the teacher quotes as you will.

200 Inspirational Quotes for Teachers

Top 10 Teacher Quotes

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“Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.” – Confucius

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

“Your best teacher is your last mistake.” – Ralph Nader

“A good teacher, like a good entertainer first must hold his audience’s attention, then he can teach his lesson.” – John Henrik Clarke

“We discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being.” – Maria Montessori

“Good teachers know how to bring out the best in students.” – Charles Kuralt

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

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

“I touch the future. I teach.” – Christa McAuliffe

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” – Henry Adams

See also: Education Quotes, Learning Quotes

Best Teacher Quotes

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

“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

“You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room.” – Dr. Seuss

“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

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

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

“To this end, the greatest asset of a school is the personality of the teacher.” – John Strachan

“Teachers, who educate children, deserve more honor than parents, who merely gave them birth; for the latter provided mere life, while the former ensured a good life.” – Aristotle

Short Teacher Quotes

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“A teacher should have a creative mind.” – A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

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

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

“Your worst enemy is your best teacher.” – Buddha

“I am not a teacher but an awakener.” – Robert Frost

“If you don’t have a teacher you can’t have a disciple.” – Dallas Willard

“I’ve never had the patience of a teacher.” – Josh Turner

“The best teacher is an entertainer.” – Bob Keeshan

“The best teachers teach from the heart, not from the book.”

“Teachers cultivate the young minds who are responsible for the future.” – Keith Wynn

“A teacher who is not dogmatic is simply a teacher who is not teaching.” – Gilbert K. Chesterton

“A teacher should have maximal authority and minimal power.” – Thomas Szasz

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

“Teachers teach someone something in that order.” – Samuel Natale

“There are three good reasons to be a teacher — June, July, and August.”

“If you become a teacher, by your pupils you’ll be taught.” – Oscar Hammerstein II

“It takes a big heart to help shape little minds.”

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

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

“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.” – Khalil Gibran

Inspirational Teacher Quotes

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

“Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.” – Malala Yousafzai

“The future of the world is in my classroom today, a future with the potential for good or bad… Several future presidents are learning from me today; so are the great writers of the next decades, and so are all the so-called ordinary people who will make the decisions in a democracy.” – Ivan Welton Fitzwater

“Modern cynics and skeptics… see no harm in paying those to whom they entrust the minds of their children a smaller wage than is paid to those to whom they entrust the care of their plumbing.” – John F. Kennedy

“Teachers who inspire realize there will always be rocks in the road ahead of us. They will be stumbling blocks or stepping stones; it all depends on how we use them.”

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

“Your work is not to drag the world, kicking and to scream into a new awareness. Your job is to do your work… sacredly, secretly, silently … and those with “eyes to see and ears to hear’ will respond.” – The Artisans

“The true teacher defends his pupils against his own personal influence. He inspires self-trust. He guides their eyes from himself to the spirit that quickens him. He will have no disciples. A noble artist, he has visions of excellence and revelations of beauty, which he has neither impersonated in character, nor embodied in words. His life and teachings are but studies for yet nobler ideals.” – A. Bronson Alcott

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

“Teachers who inspire know that teaching is like cultivating a garden, and those who would have nothing to do with thorns must never attempt to gather flowers.”

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

Funny Teacher Quotes

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“When you teach your son, you teach your son’s son.” – The Talmud

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

“My teacher bribed me back into learning with candy and money, and what was remarkable was before very long. I had such a respect for her that it re-ignited my desire to learn.” – Steve Jobs

“As a teacher, my strategy is to encourage questioning. I’m the least authoritarian professor you’ll ever meet.” – Niall Ferguson

“If you promise not to believe everything your child says happens at school, I’ll promise not to believe everything he says happens at home.”

“A teacher’s job is to take a bunch of live wires and see that they are well-grounded.” – D. Martin

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

“If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn’t want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher’s job.” – Donald D. Quinn

“The average teacher explains complexity; the gifted teacher reveals simplicity.” – Robert Brault

“It’s the teacher that makes the difference, not the classroom.” – Michael Morpurgo

Good Teacher Quotes

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“I cannot emphasize enough the importance of a good teacher.” – Temple Grandin

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

“One good teacher in a lifetime may sometimes change a delinquent into a solid citizen.” – Philip Wylie

“So what does a good teacher do? Create tension – but just the right amount.” – Donald Norman

“Good teachers are costly, but bad teachers cost more.” – Bob Talbert

“A good teacher is a determined person.” – Gilbert Highet

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

“A good teacher must know the rules; a good pupil, the exceptions.” – Martin H. Fischer

“A good teacher is a master of simplification and an enemy of simplism.” – Louis A. Berman

“A good teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary.” – Thomas Carruthers

“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 which he finds it hard to answer.” – Alice Wellington Rollins

“A good teacher must be able to put himself in the place of those who find learning hard.” – Eliphas Levi

“A great teacher can teach Calculus with a paper clip and literature in an empty field. Technology is just another tool, not a destination.”

“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

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

“We expert teachers know that motivation and emotional impact are what matter.” – Donald Norman

“Thought flows in terms of stories–stories about events, stories about people, and stories about intentions and achievements. The best teachers are the best storytellers. We learn in the form of stories.” – Frank Martin

“We expect teachers to handle teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, and the failings of the family. Then we expect them to educate our children.” – John Sculley

“The task of the excellent teacher is to stimulate “apparently ordinary” people to unusual effort. The tough problem is not in identifying winners: it is in making winners out of ordinary people.” – K. Patricia Cross

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

“There is no recipe to be a great teacher; that’s what is unique about them.” – Robert Sternberg

“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.” – Khalil Gibran

“The best teacher is the one who suggests rather than dogmatizes, and inspires his listener with the wish to teach himself.” – Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

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

Being A Teacher Quotes

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“Discover wildlife: be a teacher!

“Of all the hard jobs around, one of the hardest is being a good teacher.” – Maggie Gallagher

“The teacher’s task is to initiate the learning process and then get out of the way.” – John Warren

“Teachers, I believe, are the most responsible and important members of society because their professional efforts affect the fate of the earth.” – Helen Caldicott

“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

Thank You Teacher Quotes

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“Teachers are people who start things they never see finished, and for which they never get thanks until it is too late.” – Max Forman

“Often, when I am reading a good book, I stop and thank my teacher. That is, I used to, until she got an unlisted number.”

“A truly special teacher is very wise, and sees tomorrow in every child’s eyes.”

“Only one person in a million becomes enlightened without a teacher’s help.” – Bodhidharma

“If kids come to us from strong, healthy functioning families, it makes our job easier. If they do not come to us from strong, healthy, functioning families, it makes our job more important.” – Barbara Coloroso

Teacher Appreciation Quotes

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“One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.” – Carl Jung

“What a teacher writes on the blackboard of life 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

Teacher Retirement Quotes

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“Congratulations. Now the fun begins. So forget us students and have the time of your life. I wish you a happy retirement!”

“Congrats and have fun with all the adventures in retirement!”

“Thanks, teacher! We are grateful to have been in your class. You’re a true inspiration, and you’ve touched many people’s lives. It won’t be the same without you here, but we wish the happiest retirement!”

“No one can say goodbye to a teacher like you, because you’ll forever be in our hearts. Happy retirement!”

“No school days had gone by without a dull moment when you were here. Your spirit, energy, and humor were the best. And we’re going to miss you being our teacher. Happy retirement!”

“Congrats teacher. We will miss you! Make your retirement the retirement of a lifetime!”

“Congratulations on a fantastic career. You were the perfect teacher. I’ll miss you.”

“Congrats Teacher. You were our teacher, mentor, and enthusiast. Thank you for your guidance, patience and inspirational speeches. Enjoy your well-earned retirement.”

“Teacher you Rock. Thanks for being a great role model for me and many of my friends. I wish you a great retirement.”

“You will be missed but never forgotten. Enjoy all the new adventures life is giving you after you close this door. Congratulations on your retirement!”

“May your life in retirement be filled with joy and happiness. Enjoy spending time with your loved ones!”

“We knew this day was coming, but even though we are happy for you. We are sad today. You are the best teacher we ever had and are going to miss you. We can’t imagine coming to this school without you. We wish you a fantastic retirement.”

“We were very blessed to have you as our teacher. Thank you for everything you’ve done for us. The big things, the little things: nothing went by unnoticed. Have a happy retirement. You deserved it!”

“The biggest lessons don’t come from books but from a teacher like you. Thank you so much for your kindness, wisdom, and positivity. You encouraged me to be the best that I can be. Congratulations on your retirement.”

“Dear teacher, you’ve made your mark, paid your dues, now put on your dancing shoes! Have fun in retirement!”

“Dear Teacher. Thank you for your wisdom and kindness over all these years. Enjoy your retirement.”

“You’re the one teacher in my life who influenced me more than anyone. You inspired me, encouraged me to overcome my fears, and you have taught me so many valuable life lessons. I am going to miss you and wishing you a long, healthy, and fun retirement.”

“For many years you’ve dedicated yourself to educating students. Now it’s time to sit back, relax, and watch those seeds you planted grow. Or have a beer instead. Have a great time in your retirement!”

“The most talented teachers are those who teach not by words, but by example. You are such a teacher. Thank you for being you and showing us direction. Congratulations on your retirement.”

“We know your teacher’s salary wasn’t much, but maybe this will cheer you up: The greatness of a person is not found in the amount of money he possesses, but in the quality of his knowledge and education. Thank you for educating us and sharing us your wisdom. Have a great retirement!”

“Congratulations on your retirement teacher! We wish you a happy retirement!”

“Thank you for everything you’ve done for me. I wish you nothing but the very best in your retirement. Congratulations!”

“You’re an awesome teacher. We wish you wouldn’t retire so we can learn more from you, but we are very happy for you. Congratulations on your hard-earned retirement!”

“Thanks, teacher! for being an important part of my education. I will never forget you! Go out enjoy four Retirement!”

“After many years of hard work and dedication to others, you can relax and enjoy the simple things in life. May you enjoy all the things life has to offer you in retirement!”

“Thank you so much for all the lessons you have taught us. Congratulations and enjoy your well-deserved retirement!”

“This school will feel so empty, and our classrooms won’t be the same without the inspirational presence of a teacher like you. Thank you for being our teacher. We’re blessed to have had you in our lives. Enjoy your retirement!”

“Retirement is not the end. It’s the beginning of the open highway. So have fun on your road trip! Happy Retirement!”

“Dear teacher, I wish you good health, happiness, and success as you move forward to this next chapter in your life! Congrats!”

“Thank you for your endless patience, motivation, and wisdom. You helped me become the proud person I am today! Congratulations and enjoy your well-earned retirement.”

“You’re wisdom, and timeless sense of humor is going to be missed. Happy retirement!”

“Congrats Teacher. This is the start of your new adventure. You can go to all the places you used to teach. Enjoy every moment of it. Happy retirement!”

“Congratulation on extending your weekends with five days! Now every day is Saturday!”

“Dear Teacher, Welcome to your new-found freedom, where you’re freed from us, students. Enjoy it. Have a Happy Retirement!”

“Thank you for 30 years of teaching. Thank you for taking the time to listen, encourage, and share. You made a real difference in the lives of the students you taught. Congratulation and many warm wishes for a happy retirement!”

“Dear teacher! You deserve the biggest party ever! Because you have been the greatest teacher! Enjoy your retirement.”

“I am blessed to have had such a wonderful teacher and person in my life. Best wishes for this new chapter in your life.”

“Congratulations! Enjoy your retirement!”

“Dear teacher, the world of endless opportunities and beauty is waiting to be explored. Go out and have fun! Happy retirement and safe travels!”

Teacher Quotes To Students

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“What greater joy can a teacher feel than to witness a child’s success.” – Michelle L. Graham

“Kids don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.” – Jim Henson

“A cross-eyed teacher can keep twice the number of children in order than any other, because the pupils do not know who she’s looking at.”

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

“A true teacher defends his students against his influences.” – Amos Bronson Alcott

“A great teacher who is full of excitement and love for her students can make all the difference in their lives.” – Deval Patrick

“The best education is not given to students; it is drawn out of them.” – Gerald Belcher

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

“Any good teacher knows how important it is to connect with students and understand our culture.” – Adora Svitak

“The teachers who get “burned out” are not the ones who are constantly learning, which can be exhilarating, but those who feel they must stay in control and ahead of the students at all times.” – Frank Martin

“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 teachers, too, have failed.” – Marva Collins

“I am a teacher born and bred, and I believe in the advocacy of teachers. It’s a calling. We want our students to feel passionate and empowered.” – Erin Gruwell

“Most teachers have little control over school policy or curriculum or choice of texts or special placement of students, but most have a great deal of autonomy inside the classroom. To a degree shared by only a few other occupations, such as police work, public education rests precariously on the skill and virtue of the people at the bottom of the institutional pyramid.” – Tracy Kidder

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

“In an effective classroom, students should not only know what they are doing, but they should also know why and how.” – Harry Wong

“When the untapped potential of a student meets the liberating art of a teacher, a miracle unfolds.” – Mary Hatwood Futrell

“Education is the key to success in life, and teachers make a lasting impact on the lives of their students.” – Solomon Ortiz

“A teacher’s purpose is not to create students in his own image, but to develop students who can create their own image.”

“I entered the classroom with the conviction that every other student and I needed to be an active participant, not a passive consumer…education that connects the will to know with the will to become.” – Bell Hooks

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

“It must be remembered that the purpose of education is not to fill the minds of students with facts…it is to teach them to think, if that is possible, and always to think for themselves.” – Robert Hutchins

“One time, the teacher was the storehouse of knowledge. That will no longer be so. So what would a teacher do? An excellent teacher will play the role of augmenter. Also, the teacher will be located anywhere and helping students.” – Shiv Nadar

“What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child.” – George Bernard Shaw

Teaching Quotes Short

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“Those who know, do. Those that understand teach.” – Aristotle

“When one teaches, two learn.” – Robert Heinlein

“Teaching is the highest form of understanding.” – Aristotle

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

“Effective teaching may be the hardest job there is.” – William Glasser

“Teaching should be full of ideas instead of stuffed with facts.”

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

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

Teaching Quotes About Students

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“The important thing is not so much that every child should be taught as that every child should be given the wish to learn.” – John Lubbock

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

“Teaching is leaving a vestige of one self in the development of another. And surely the student is a bank where you can deposit your most precious treasures.” – Eugene P. Bertin

“The object of teaching a child is to enable him [or her] to get along without his [or her] teacher.” – Elbert Hubbard

Teaching Quotes For Teachers

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“One of the beauties of teaching is that there is no limit to one’s growth as a teacher, just as there is no knowing beforehand how much your students can learn.” – Herbert Kohl

“I have learned that, although I am a good teacher, I am a much better student, and I was blessed to learn valuable lessons from my students daily. They taught me the importance of teaching to a student – and not to a test.” – Erin Gruwell

“Teaching is the only major occupation of man for which we have not yet developed tools that make an average person capable of competence and performance. In teaching we rely on the “naturals,” the ones who somehow know how to teach.” – Peter Drucker

“The work of a teacher — exhausting, complex, idiosyncratic, never twice the same — is at its heart an ethical enterprise. Teaching is the vocation of vocations.” – William Ayres

“Benevolence alone will not make a teacher, nor will learning alone do it. The gift of teaching is a peculiar talent, and implies a need and a craving in the teacher himself.” – John Jay Chapman

“Teaching is the perpetual end and office of all things. Teaching, instruction is the main design that shines through the sky and earth.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Good teaching must be slow enough so that it is not confusing, and fast enough so that it is not boring.” – Sidney J. Harris

“Teaching is a very noble profession that shapes the character, caliber, and future of an individual. If the people remember me as a good teacher, that will be the biggest honor for me.” – A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupér

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

Passion For Teaching Quotes

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

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

“Teaching is an instinctual art, mindful of potential, craving of realizations, a pausing, seamless process.” – A. Bartlett Giamatti

“The most important part of teaching is to teach what it is to know.” – Simone Weil

“To me, the sole hope of human salvation lies in teaching.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Teaching is a profession in which capacity building should occur at every stage of the career – novices working with accomplished colleagues, skillful teachers sharing their craft, and opportunities for teacher leadership.” – Randi Weingarten

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

“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

“Teaching should be such that what is offered is perceived as a valuable gift and not as a hard duty.” – Albert Einstein

Originally published September 21, 2019, updated October 8, 2020

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