Since 1998 the world's premier FREE resource site for teachers of English

Teacher Quotes

Teaching is a profession that is both rewarding and draining. These wise and motivational quotes can offer a boost to teachers when they need it most. Share a quote with your teaching colleagues or trainees by posting it in a blog post, sending it in an email or using it in a presentation. You may also want to post some quotes in your staff room. Happy teaching!

Do not push the river; it will flow by itself.proverb
A candle loses nothing of its light by lighting another candle.James Keller
We think too much about effective methods of teaching and not enough about effective methods of learning.John Carolus S. J.
Who dares to teach must never cease to learn.John Cotton Dana
You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself. Galileo Galilei
You can't direct the wind but you can adjust the sails.proverb
To know how to suggest is the art of teaching.Henri Frédéric Amiel
Ask yourself "Do I feel the need to laminate?" Then teaching is for you. Gordon Korman
Never do anything for a student that he is capable of doing for himself. If you do you, you'll make him an educational cripple...a pedagogical paraplegic.Howard Hendricks
Awaken people's curiosity. It is enough to open minds, do not overload them. Put there just a spark.Anatole France
A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.Henry Brooks Adams
A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary.Thomas Carruthers
Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.Malcolm Forbes
Give me a fish and I eat for a day. Teach me to fish and I eat for a lifetime.proverb
Good teachers are those who know how little they know. Bad teachers are those who think they know more than they don't know.R. Verdi
Good teaching is more a giving of right questions than a giving of right answers.Josef Albers
I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.Socrates
Language acquisition does not require extensive use of conscious grammatical rules, and does not require tedious drill.Stephen Krashen
I don't give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way.Mark Twain
A story can catch the attention of every student in the class and help them focus on points planned by the teacher. Storytelling increases attention span, makes for a higher level of cooperation, and a more positive attitude towards learning reading or any other subject.Mike Lockett
I put the relation of a fine teacher to a student just below the relation of a mother to a son.Thomas Wolfe
Men learn while they teach.Lucius A. Seneca
No matter how good teaching may be, each student must take the responsibility for his own education.John Carolus S. J.
It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.Albert Einstein
If a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.Ignacio "Nacho" Estrada
Praise, like gold and diamonds, owes its values only to its scarcity.Samuel Johnson
Spoonfeeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon.E. M. Forster
Teachers should guide without dictating, and participate without dominating.C. B. Neblette
The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be ignited.Plutarch
To teach is to learn twice.Joseph Joubert
At any point in language teaching history there are always items of faith which nobody questions. The belief in a focus on meaning is the dogma of our time.Guy Cook
Activities which may be a success in a Californian encounter group are unlikely to work in the majority of ESL/EFL contexts.Nick Gadd
Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.Bill Gates
Be the change you wish to see in the world. Gandhi
They may forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel.Carol Buchner
You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself.Galileo Galilei
Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand.proverb
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
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.Albert Einstein
The most extraordinary thing about a really good teacher is that he or she transcends accepted educational methods.Margaret Mead
To teach is to touch lives forever.proverb
In a completely rational society, the best of us would be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something less.Lee Iacocca

Get TEFL.net Inspire!

The free TEFL newsletter for teachers—with tips, advice, updates, jobs and lesson plans...